(Taipei) China on Friday sent new warships and warplanes near Taiwan, which it says is an “inseparable part” of the rest of the Chinese state, after a meeting – which Beijing refused – between the Taiwanese president and the president. of the US House of Representatives.
For the second day in a row, three Chinese warships sailed through the waters surrounding the self-governing island, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said, adding that a fighter jet and an anti-submarine helicopter also crossed the sea. Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz) of Taiwan.
Taiwan had already detected three warships and a Chinese anti-submarine helicopter on Thursday.
And on Wednesday, a few hours before the meeting in California between Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, and Kevin McCarthy, the third figure of the American authorities, the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong had crossed the waters southeast of Taiwan en route to the Western Pacific.
Tsai returned to Taiwan on Friday after visiting her dwindling Latin American allies. “We are showing the international community that Taiwan is more united than ever in the face of pressure and threats,” she told reporters. “We will never give in to repression and we will not stop interacting with the world regardless of the obstacles.”
Beijing has always threatened a retaliatory response if the Tsai-McCarty talk takes place, in the name of its “one China” principle, which it says prohibits having official ties with Beijing and Taipei at the same time.
“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China,” the communist government repeated on Friday.
“China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will never be divided,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing. “Taiwan’s future lies in reunification with the motherland.”
With the incursions of the past two days around Taiwan, Beijing’s response to the Tsai-McCarty meeting is at this stage not comparable with the unprecedented Chinese military maneuvers of August 2022, in reaction to the visit to the Nancy Pelosi Island, who preceded Mr. McCarthy to American roost.
AFP journalists on Pingtan Island, the closest Chinese outpost to Taiwan, saw a military ship and at least two military helicopters transiting the Taiwan Strait on Friday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether the moves represented an increase in the usual number of Chinese patrols in the area.
After considering also going to Taiwan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives decided to meet Ms. Tsai in California, on a stopover on her return from Latin America. This compromise was intended to avoid inflaming tensions with Beijing.
Before leaving Los Angeles on Thursday, Ms. Tsai said she “hoped” that China would “show restraint and not overreact.”
During their meeting, McCarthy called for “continuing arms sales to Taiwan” as the “best way” to prevent a Chinese invasion. “It’s a key lesson we learned from Ukraine that the idea of simple sanctions in the future won’t stop anyone,” he told reporters.
Ms. Tsai merely admitted to having “purchased weapons in the United States”, hoping that these would be “delivered on time”.
Taiwan wants to “prevent Chinese interference” in its territorial waters, she added at a press conference.
Its Premier Chen Chien-jen said Friday that Taiwan’s Defense and National Security Department is closely monitoring developments and asked “the public for reassurance.”
Beijing must choose the path of “diplomacy” and not that of “pressure” on Taiwan, Vedant Patel, spokesman for the US State Department, urged Thursday.
On Friday, China imposed sanctions on Taipei’s envoy to the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim, barring him from entering China and accusing him of “deliberately inciting cross-Strait confrontation.” “.
Taiwan condemned the sanctions, saying Beijing was trying to “further restrict our country’s international standing.” “Coercion and repression…will only strengthen our government’s belief in upholding freedom and democracy,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
China’s Foreign Ministry also announced sanctions against the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based conservative think tank, as well as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the Tsai-McCarthy interview was held. , for “providing a platform and facilitating Tsai Ing-wen’s engagement in ‘Taiwanese separatism’ activities in the United States”.
Both organizations are now barred from transacting and cooperating with Chinese entities, while four people linked to the organizations are banned from entering or doing business in China.