Chinese tourists pose for photos in front of the Taiwan Strait on the coast of Pingtan Island – Copyright AFP GREG BAKER
Tourist groups visiting Pingtan Island — one of the closest points in southeastern China to Taiwan — braved blustery seaside weather on Thursday and shrugged off the boosted maritime patrols in the flashpoint waters beyond them.
Chinese maritime authorities announced beefed-up coastguard operations in the Taiwan Strait to coincide with the Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen holding talks with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California on Wednesday. After their meeting, Beijing vowed to take “firm and forceful measures” to safeguard Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory.
AFP saw cargo boats and fishers plying the choppy waters off the rocky Pingtan coastline, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of T