World

TAIPEI China sent warships and aircraft near Taiwan for a second day on Friday, Taipei said, after President Tsai Ing-wen angered Beijing by meeting US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

Three Chinese warships sailed in waters surrounding the island, while a fighter jet and an anti-submarine helicopter crossed the islands air defence identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwans Ministry of National Defence said.

On Wednesday, Chinas Shandong aircraft carrier sailed through Taiwans south-eastern waters on its way to the western Pacific, hours before Ms Tsai met Mr McCarthy in Los Angeles.

Ms Tsai told reporters before she left Los Angeles where she was stopping over on her way back from Latin America that her government was committed to ensuring the free and democratic way of life of the people of Taiwan.

We also hope to do our best to maintain peace and stability between the two sides, she added.

Beijing said on Friday that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China, after repeatedly warning against the meeting.

Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity will never be divided and division wont be allowed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing.The future of Taiwan lies in the reunification with the motherland. Muted response

Last August, China deployed warships, missiles and fighter jets into the waters and skies around Taiwan in its largest show of force in years, following a trip to the island by Mr McCarthys predecessor, Mrs Nancy Pelosi.

Its response to the Tsai-McCarthy meeting has so far been on a much lower level, but still left Taiwan on alert.

Premier Chen Chien-jen said on Friday that Taiwans defence and security agencies were keeping a close eye on developments, and asked the public to rest assured.

On Thursday, the Defence Ministry said three warships had been detected around the Taiwan Strait and one Chinese naval helicopter crossed the islands ADIZ. Taiwans President Tsai Ing-wen meeting US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in California on April 5. PHOTO: REUTERS The display prompted calls from the United States asking China to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful diplomacy.

We remain committed to maintaining open channels of communication so as to prevent the risk of any kind of miscalculation, US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

Mr McCarthy, who is second in line to the US presidency, had originally planned to go to Taiwan himself but opted instead to meet Ms Tsai in California.

The decision was viewed as a compromise that would underscore support for Taiwan but avoid inflaming tensions with China, a move analysts say has so far proven successful.

Ms Tsai said on Thursday that it was quite common for us to meet our US friends during transits.

I also hope the Chinese side can exercise self-restraint and not overreact, she added.

Mr McCarthy had vowed that US arms sales to Taiwan which have infuriated the Chinese leadership would continue, in what he said was a proven strategy to dissuade aggression.

And what we know through history, the best way to do that is supply the weapons that allow people to deter war, he said.

It is a critical lesson that we learnt through Ukraine, that the idea of just sanctions in the future is not going to stop somebody who wants to wage war, he said.

On Friday, China slapped sanctions on Taipeis de facto ambassador to the US, Ms Hsiao Bi-khim, banning her from entering China and accusing her of deliberately inciting cross-strait confrontation.

Beijings Foreign Ministry also announced sanctions against the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based conservative think-tank, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, for providing a platform and facilitating Tsai Ing-wens engagement in Taiwan separatism activities in the United States.AFP More On This Topic China to inspect ships in Taiwan Strait, Taiwan says it won't cooperate Why is China so angry about Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen meeting US Speaker McCarthy?

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