The Speaker of the US House of Representatives is scheduled to meet with Tsai Ing-wen on the same day that China suddenly announced the implementation of “joint cruise inspections” in the Taiwan Strait

The Chinese government suddenly announced on Wednesday (April 5, 2023) that it would implement a “joint patrol and inspection operation” in the Taiwan Strait. This move is considered to be related to the meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and the Speaker of the House of Representatives McCarthy when he was in transit in the United States that day.

The Maritime Safety Administration of China’s Fujian Province, opposite Taiwan, posted a message on its WeChat official account on Wednesday morning, saying that “the joint patrol and inspection operation in the central and northern parts of the Taiwan Strait has been launched today,” accompanied by a map of the Taiwan Strait including the entire Taiwan Island and a A photo of a large sea surveillance ship.

China Central Radio and Television’s CCTV new media “Yuyuan Tantian” also published this one-sentence news as an exclusive report on social media.

Authorities did not explain the purpose of the operation or whether the Chinese navy was included in the joint patrol with the surveillance ships.

Previously, Beijing expressed firm opposition to Tsai Ing-wen’s transit through the United States and a possible meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Kevin McCarthy), and warned that if Tsai Ing-wen met with McCarthy, China “will take measures to resolutely fight back.”

McCarthy’s office officially announced Monday that the speaker, along with lawmakers from both political parties, will meet with Tsai on Wednesday at the Reagan Library near Los Angeles, California, the first time McCarthy has formally confirmed the meeting with Tsai time and place.

Officials from the White House and the State Department have repeatedly stressed that Taiwan’s president’s transit in the United States is in line with the United States’ one-China policy and long-standing practice, and there is no need for China to overreact.

In response to China’s possible overreaction to Tsai Ing-wen’s transit in the United States, Taiwan’s military sent four F-16 fighter jets to escort Tsai Ing-wen’s special plane out of the country. Taiwan National Security Bureau Director Cai Mingyan also said in the Legislative Yuan last Thursday (March 30) that there are already inter-departmental committees within the National Security Council to monitor the situation.

He said: “The complexity of the president’s meeting with McCarthy in the United States is low, but all necessary situations have been prepared, and relevant sand table deduction has been done.”

Cai Mingyan also said that the United States has shared information and notifications in real time, and Taiwan’s National Security Bureau has also grasped all developments.

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In August last year, after the then Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, the Chinese military conducted an unprecedented “Taiwan Lockdown” exercise in the waters surrounding Taiwan. Since then, it has become the norm for Chinese military planes and warships to frequently cross the center line of the strait to put pressure on Taiwan.

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