Four Chinese ships entered 'prohibited' waters, says Taiwan

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Four Chinese ships entered 'prohibited' waters, says Taiwan

Taipei said that four Chinese coastguard ships had temporarily passed through "prohibited" waters in Taiwan, and Taipei urged Beijing to halt any activities that could "endanger" the safety of navigation. China has declared that it will not rule out using force to subjugate the democratically run island of Taiwan and claims it as part of its territory.

Around 3:30 pm (0730 GMT) on Monday, the Chinese ships entered waters south of Taiwan's outlying island of Kinmen, five kilometers (three miles) from the Chinese city of Xiamen, according to a statement released later that day by Taiwan's coastguard. About an hour later, the agency reported that the ships "sailed out of our prohibited and restricted waters," demanding Beijing to immediately cease "behavior that endangers navigation safety."

Weeks before Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te, takes office on May 20, the sorties occur, and China views Lai as a dangerous separatist. Lai disagrees with China's claim to Taiwan, just as outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen. In response to several fatal fishing mishaps earlier in the year, Beijing also promised to increase patrols around Taipei-run Kinmen. On February 14, as Taiwan's coastguard was following it, a Chinese speedboat carrying four people overturned close to Kinmen, leaving two people dead.

Two crew members perished in the area in March when another Chinese boat capsized. Though Beijing accused Taipei of "hiding the truth" about the event, Taiwan's coastguard had defended its conduct, claiming the boat was within "prohibited waters" and zigzagging before it capsized. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at a flag-raising practice for the May 20 inauguration, spokesperson for the defense ministry Sun Li-fang said Taiwan would increase its support for the coastguard by providing more surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

In response to a question on whether the presence of Chinese ships would impede the delivery of supplies to Taiwan's outlying islands, he stated, "all things considered, we are extremely well-prepared and fully confident in maintaining regional security."

He continued by saying that there isn't currently anything unusual in the Taiwan Strait.
We can handle any unforeseen circumstance since we have taken into account the enemy's threats and have made the most thorough preparations possible, according to Sun. Taiwanese officials declared that they were on guard for any military drills by Beijing after May 20 due to the elevated tensions.