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Taiwan is watching China’s moves after China condemns US speaker’s conference.

TAIPEI/BEIJING: Taiwan suspended a Chinese aircraft carrier and vessel in the Taiwan Strait on Thursday (6 April) after Beijing condemned a meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. was closely monitored for threats to inspect

McCarthy, the third-highest member of the US leadership, and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers met with President Tsai on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California’s Simi Valley.

The meeting came at a time of decline in US-China relations and despite threats of retaliation from Beijing, which claims to democratically rule Taiwan as its own.

The Chinese aircraft carrier, the Shandong, was spotted on Wednesday and is now 200 nautical miles off Taiwan’s east coast, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuocheng told reporters at a parliament meeting in Taipei.

“It is in training, but the timing is very sensitive and we are still working on it,” Chiu said, adding that he had yet to see the aircraft take off from the deck.

He later told lawmakers that the ship was east of Taiwan’s southernmost tip and that Taiwanese warships were monitoring it from a distance of five to six nautical miles.

China has sailed an aircraft carrier near Taiwan at a similarly sensitive time.

In March of last year, the Shandong passed through the Taiwan Strait just hours before a meeting between the Chinese and US presidents.

China waged war games around Taiwan after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August last year.

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