(Taipei) China sent warships to waters surrounding Taiwan on Thursday, Taiwan Defense says, with Beijing promising ‘strong’ response to talk between island leader and Speaker of US House of Representatives .

Despite Chinese warnings, President Tsai Ing-wen, China’s pet peeve, because she comes from an independence party, met Kevin McCarthy, third figure of the American state, near Los Angeles on Wednesday.

However, Beijing has always threatened a response if such an interview took place and deployed an aircraft carrier near Taiwan a few hours before the meeting.

“The United States and Taiwan have conspired” to “strengthen their relationship,” which “seriously undermines” Chinese sovereignty and “sends the wrong signal of support for Taiwanese separatists,” said Mao Ning, a spokesperson. word of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“China will take firm and vigorous measures to resolutely defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said Thursday at a regular press conference.

Three more warships were detected at 6 a.m. Thursday (6 p.m. EST) in the waters between mainland China and the island, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.

An anti-submarine helicopter also passed through Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz), according to the ministry. And China has deployed coast guard vessels for exceptional patrols which Taipei has protested against.

The Beijing-based communist government sees the island as one of its provinces to take back, favoring “peaceful reunification” but not excluding the use of force.

In the name of its “one China” principle, no country is supposed to maintain official ties with Beijing and Taipei at the same time.

In August, Beijing launched unprecedented military maneuvers around Taiwan when Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who preceded McCarthy to roost, visited the island.

The response at this stage to the meeting with the American number three has nothing to compare with the summer of 2022. It does, however, put Taipei on high alert.

Taiwan’s defense minister called Beijing’s timing to deploy Shandong, one of China’s two aircraft carriers, “sensitive”. However, he did not observe any maneuvers around the ship.

“When an aircraft carrier goes out, there are usually aircraft takeoffs and landings,” said Chiu Kuo-cheng, adding that he had seen “no takeoffs or landings” at this point.

In the United States, Ms Tsai, who was in transit after a tour of Latin America, praised the United States’ “unwavering support” to her island and assured that the Taiwanese were neither “isolated” nor “alone”.

Only 13 states still recognize Taiwan, including Belize and Guatemala, Latin American countries that Ms. Tsai has visited in recent days to cement the relationship with her few official allies, after a first stop in New York.

These tensions between Beijing and Taipei come as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron are in Beijing, where the latter met his counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday.

They also come on the day an eight-member US congressional delegation arrives in Taiwan for trade and security talks.

Kevin McCarthy had chosen to receive Tsai Ing-wen in California, after considering going to Taiwan.

The Republican leader stressed that the relationship between Taipei and Washington was “stronger” than it had ever been “in (his) lifetime.”

McCarthy also called for “continuing arms sales to Taiwan”, the “best way” he said to prevent a Chinese invasion of the island.

On Pingtan Island, the closest point to Taiwan southeast of mainland China, there were no signs of unusual military activity Thursday morning.

But the Taipei Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the Taiwanese body responsible for setting policy towards mainland China, has accused Beijing of “hindering” trade in the Taiwan Strait, through inspections on place cargo ships and passenger ships.

Chinese maritime authorities announced on Wednesday patrols by their coastguards in the strait.

“The Chinese side’s action deliberately escalates cross-Strait tensions,” MAC said Wednesday night, referring to a “flagrant violation” of maritime practices.

Taiwanese boats have orders to refuse any Chinese inspection, Taiwan National Security Bureau Deputy Director Ko Cheng-heng warned Thursday.