China deploys warships near Taiwan after Tsai-McCarthy meeting
MISE À DAY
China sent warships to waters around Taiwan on Thursday, shortly after deploying an aircraft carrier and promising a 'determined' response to the meeting between the leader of the self-governing island and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. in California, the Taiwanese Defense announced.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, from a party that traditionally campaigns for the island's independence – a absolute red line for China – praised Washington's “unwavering support” for Taiwan during a meeting on Wednesday near Los Angeles with Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy.
However, Beijing has always threatened a response if such an interview took place and deployed an aircraft carrier near Taiwan hours before the meeting.
Three additional warships were detected Thursday at 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) in the strait separating China from the Democratic Autonomous Island, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.
An anti-submarine helicopter also crossed the air defense zone of Taiwan, the ministry added.
And China has deployed coast guard vessels for exceptional patrols which Taipei has protested.
The communist regime considers the self-managed island for more than 70 years as one of its provinces to be taken back, favoring “peaceful reunification”, but without 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.
Last August, Beijing launched unprecedented military maneuvers around Taiwan last August, when Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Mr McCarthy's roost predecessor, visited the island.
The response at this stage to the meeting with the American number three is not comparable. However, it puts Taipei on alert.
The Taiwanese Minister of Defense considered the deployment of Shandong, one of the two Chinese aircraft carriers, to be “sensitive”.
“When an aircraft carrier goes out, there are usually aircraft takeoffs and landings,” said Chiu Kuo-cheng, adding that no such maneuver had yet been observed. “We are continuing to monitor,” he warned the press.
Asked about the possibility that this deployment was a prelude to Chinese military maneuvers, Mr. Chiu replied: “we don't let's not rule that out.”
In the United States, Ms. Tsai, who was in transit after a tour of Latin America, praised the “unwavering support” of the United States 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 step in New York.
In this inflammable context, the Republican leader for his part stressed that the relationship between Taipei and Washington was “stronger” than it had ever been “during (his) life”.
Hours later, China promised “determined and effective measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry compared the Tsai-McCarthy meeting on American soil to “seriously mistaken acts of collusion” between the United States and Taiwan, according to a statement released Thursday morning.
Beijing further urged Washington to “stop going down a wrong and dangerous path” while French President Emmanuel Macron is on a state visit to Beijing where he is to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday.
Under the mandate of Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan has moved closer to the States United States.
Mr. McCarthy also called for “continuing arms sales to Taiwan”, which he said are the “best way” to prevent a Chinese invasion of the island. “It's an essential lesson that we learned from Ukraine, namely that the idea of simple sanctions in the future will not stop anyone,” he insisted to the press.