March 30, 2023 11:38 am
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China Blasts Taiwan President’s US Trip, Warns Against McCarthy Meeting

China is warning of a severe response if Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) while she tours the United States as well as Central America over the next week. Tsai’s plane touched down in New York City late Wednesday, and after a brief tour of the city on Thursday she’s expected to head to Guatemala and Belize.

But the Associated Press confirms of the schedule, “She is expected to stop in Los Angeles on her way back to Taiwan on April 5, when a meeting with McCarthy is tentatively scheduled.” Predictably, this has outraged China, with the AP continuing: “The spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhu Fenglian, denounced Tsai’s stopovers and demanded that no U.S. officials meet with her.”

President Tsai Ing-wen’s arrival, via Reuters

The spokesperson warned that if Tsai “has contact with US House Speaker McCarthy, it will be another provocation that seriously violates the one-China principle, harms China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and destroys peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby defended the trip, saying that “It is Taiwan’s decision to make these transits based on their own travel, transits are not visits, they are private, and they are unofficial.”

But China’s embassy in Washington fired back, saying a Tsai-McCarthy meeting is likely to trigger confrontation, and that the US “should not use past mistakes as excuses for repeating them today,” according to the words of Xu Xueyuan, chargé d’affaires of the embassy.

“[Whether] it is Taiwan leaders coming to the United States or the US leaders visiting Taiwan, it could lead to another serious, serious, serious, I repeat, confrontation in the China-US relationship,” Xu added.

It must be recalled that China’s PLA military had launched its largest-ever ‘encircling’ live-fire exercises around Taiwan when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August. Likely ahead of April 5, when Tsai is expected to meet the Republican House Speaker, China will ratchet its muscle-flexing around the self-ruled island once again.


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