China Makes Threats over McCarthy Meeting with Taiwan President

March 29, 2023

China threatened retaliation Wednesday if House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) goes through with a planned meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

“If she makes contact with U.S. House Speaker McCarthy, it will be another provocation that seriously violates the one-China principle, undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Wednesday during a regular news briefing.

She added, “We firmly oppose this and will take resolute countermeasures.”

China claims the self-governing island of Taiwan as its own territory, and has in recent months been saber-rattling against its  neighbor, situated just 100 miles off the Chinese coast.

The U.S., meanwhile, announced plans in February to increase its military deployment to Taiwan to between 100 and 200 troops in coming months. 

Analysts say that China has been watching and waiting to see how Russia fares in its invasion of Ukraine before going forth with an assault against Taiwan.

Over the summer China undertook military exercises that blockaded Taiwan’s major ports, which Taiwan’s Foreign Minister asserted China was using as a “game plan” for invasion. Those Chinese military exercises came a week after a visit to Taiwan by McCarthy’s predecessor, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Tsai is scheduled to meet with McCarthy next Wednesday, when the Taiwanese President visits Los Angeles as part of a 10-day international tour. That meeting will follow a brief stop by Tsai in New York this Tuesday, before she heads to Guatemala and Belize for a few days.

No reported response from McCarthy yet on China’s threat. However, under his Speakership the House has created a Committee on China to investigate Chinese military threats, economic competitiveness and human rights. It held its first meeting about a month ago.

PHOTO Source: Wang Yu Ching/Office of the President, Taiwan.

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