Chinese warships patrol near Taiwan for second consecutive day: Taipei
Taiwan's Defense Ministry claims that three Chinese warships and one fighter jet and an anti-submarine helicopter crossed the island's so-called "air defense identification zone (ADIZ)."
Chinese warships patrolled near Taiwan for the second consecutive day on Friday amid rising tensions after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy despite Beijing's objections and warnings.
Announcing that Taiwan remains an "inseparable part" of the country, China also sent a fighter jet and an anti-submarine helicopter which "crossed the island's air defense identification zone (ADIZ)," according to the Defense Ministry in Taipei.
Tsai, who was on an official visit to Latin America, made two stopovers in the US during which she met with house speaker McCarthy and other legislators.
"We let the international community see that Taiwan is more united when facing pressure and threats," she told reporters.
"We will never yield to suppression and we will not stop interacting with the world because of any hindrance."
Ahead of the meeting between McCarthy and Tsai in Los Angeles, China staged military patrols in two areas within the Taiwan Strait.
"Special joint patrol and inspection operation began today in the central and northern parts of the Taiwan Strait," the Chinese administration posted on WeChat.
Chinese Foreign Minister Mao Ning said on Friday the country's "sovereignty and territorial integrity will never be divided" and "the future of Taiwan lies in reunification with the motherland."
In August 2022, the relations between China and Washington significantly deteriorated following then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to Taipei despite Beijing's repeated calls against this move.
Following Washington's hostile step, China launched during the same month its largest-ever air and sea exercises around Taiwan
But so far Beijing's reaction to Tsai's meeting seems to be less intense.
Taiwanese Prime Minister Chen Chien-jen said the military is monitoring the developments around the island.
China's patrols around the island have increased in the last week, but not alarmingly.
Taiwan said on Thursday that three Chinese warships and a helicopter crossed its ADIZ.
Responding to the incident, Washington called on China "to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful diplomacy."
Taipei also accused China of "obstructing" trade by conducting on-site inspections of ship travelers and their cargo.
Before departing from the US heading back, Tsai told reporters that her government will do its "best to maintain peace and stability between the two sides."
"I also hope the Chinese side can exercise self-restraint and (not) overreact," she added.
More US weapons to Taipei
McCarthy was planning on visiting Taipei himself rather than receiving Tsai in California. But the decision to change the plan came to allegedly avoid escalation with China.
However, Biden's second in line did not hold back on promising the island more US weapons.
"It is a critical lesson that we learned through Ukraine, that the idea of just sanctions in the future is not going to stop somebody" who wants to start the war, he said.
Mao relayed Beijing's opposition on Thursday to the official contacts between the US and Taiwan as she called on the US to halt developments with Taiwan and reiterated China's willingness to take "strong and resolute measures" to defend the country's sovereignty.
"The United States acting with Taiwan to connive at 'Taiwan independence' separatists’ political activities in the United States, conduct official contact with Taiwan and upgrade the substantive relations with Taiwan, and frame it as a 'transit.' This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués," she said.
Beijing imposed sanctions on Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the US Hsiao Bi-khim on Friday and banned her from entering China, stating that she "deliberately incited cross-strait confrontation".
Taipei condemned China's decision and accused Beijing of attempting to "further suppress our country's international space."
China also sanctioned the US think tank, Hudson Institute, in addition to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library which hosted the meeting between McCarthy and Tsai, barring both institutions from interacting with Chinese entities.