ALBAWABA - China threatened retaliation if Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen met the U.S. House speaker during brief stopovers in the United States.
News reports said China also urged the United States against allowing the Tsai to transit through the country, saying that would be "provocation," which will be met with Beijing undertaking "measures to resolutely fight back."
China warned the US and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that any meeting between her and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would be a serious provocation, raising the stakes for her trip to the US https://t.co/kZRvFq9XES— Bloomberg (@business) March 29, 2023
Tsai left Taiwan Wednesday for a 10-day trip that will take her to Central American allies, Belize and Guatemala.
The trip includes two stopovers, in New York on the way in, and Los Angeles on the way out. There were conflicting reports on whether Tsai would meet with the speaker, Kevin McCarthy. Some media outlets said the meeting was planned in California towards the end of Tsai's tour.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan is heading to the U.S., laying out a diplomatic agenda to strengthen ties with the West.— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 29, 2023
She is expected to meet Speaker Kevin McCarthy next week, risking a show of force from China, which opposes any such exchanges. https://t.co/g9zN3D27fi
Before Tsai's departure from Taipei, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office warned against the Taiwanese president holding meetings in the United States,
"If she contacts (U.S.) 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," Zhu Fenglian, the office’s spokesperson told a news conference, according to a report in the Guardian.
China firmly opposes Tsai Ing-wen's planned "transit" visit to the US to meet US officials and will take resolute countermeasures in such an event, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference on Wednesday. #Taiwan pic.twitter.com/l9efDkbO1M— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) March 29, 2023
"We firmly oppose this and will definitely take measures to resolutely fight back," the spokesperson added, according to Aljazeera news channel.
Beijing claims that democratically-ruled Taiwan as part of the territory of the Republic of China. It also regards meetings between Taiwanese officials and foreign governments as an attempt to legitimize the island’s claims as a separate nation, independent from the Chinese mainland.
Beijing staged mock war games near Taiwan last August, when then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.
China issues warning— Ben (@Hedenberg) March 29, 2023
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhu Fenglian, slammed the upcoming visit, saying that Tsai would not merely be staying in a hotel, but meeting with American officials.#Taiwan #Washington #China pic.twitter.com/PMOBhEWwcR