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Taiwan tightens security ahead of President-elect Lai's swearing in ceremony amid growing Chinese aggression

19 May 2024

Taipei [Raiwan], May 19 (ANI): As Taiwan's new President-elect, Lai Ching-te's swearing in ceremony draws near, the island's coastguard has ramped up patrols over the weekend amid increasing presence of Chinese vessels, according to Al Jazeera.

Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu are Taiwan's three main outlying islands.

The Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan announced on Sunday that it had dispatched personnel to "patrol all hours of the day and night" near these islands.

"In order to ensure the security of the sea area and border safety during the inauguration ceremony, the Ocean Affairs Council's Coast Guard Administration's Kinmen-Matsu-Penghu Division once again implemented a powerful patrol operation ... to closely monitor suspicious targets," it said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.

"The Kinmen-Matsu-Penghu Division said that the national security work will not slacken during the important celebrations," the administration added.

Taipei's Ministry of National Defence on Sunday said it had found seven Chinese planes and seven navy vessels in the vicinity of Taiwan.

Taiwan's Armed Forces (ROCArmedForces) monitored the situation and have promptly responded to it, the MND stated.

Sharing it on X, Taiwan's Defence Ministry stated, "7 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 am (UTC8) today. ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly."Along with leaders from some of Taiwan's few surviving diplomatic friends, including President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands, Lai spent his Sunday fishing for shrimps with them, reported Al Jazeera.

In his inaugural speech on Monday (May 20), Lai--whom Beijing despises as a "separatist"--is anticipated to promise to ensure stability by upholding the current state of the island's relations with China.

Supporters of the opposition Taiwan People's Party (TPP) plan to march through Taipei before to Lai's inauguration, demanding that he implement constitutional, judicial, and parliamentary reforms as well as protesting against the government Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), reported Al Jazeera.

China maintains a near-daily military presence across democratic Taiwan, claiming the island as part of its own territory and making frequent appearances with fighter planes, drones, and navy ships.

China has called on Taiwan to accept the "1992 consensus," under which both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China, as a precondition for talks.

Lai Chang-te, who is scheduled to take the oath as Taiwan's President on May 20, has time anf again said his administration "will work to safeguard the status quo" in the Taiwan Strait, according to CNA report.

Tsai Ing-wen, will step down on May 20 after serving two four-year terms as Taiwan's President.

Taiwan has long been a point of contention for Beijing, which considers the island a renegade province and has repeatedly expressed intentions to reunify it with the mainland, even if by force.

The median line of the Taiwan Strait served for decades as a tacit border between China and Taiwan. However, the Chinese military has more freely sent aircraft, warships, and drones across it since former United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022. (ANI)

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