McCarthy Confirms Meeting with Taiwan’s President Wednesday

April 3, 2023


The office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed Monday that he will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen this week.

“On Wednesday, April 5th, Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be hosting a bipartisan meeting with the President of Taiwan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library,” McCarthy’s office said in a statement.

Last week, China threatened “resolute countermeasures” if McCarthy went through with the planned meeting, saying it would be “another provocation that seriously violates the one-China principle.” 

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

Tsai is scheduled to meet with McCarthy next Wednesday, when the Taiwanese President visits Los Angeles. That meeting follows a stop in New York City this past Thursday, after which she set off on a tour of Central America. 

Wednesday’s meeting will be the first between a Taiwanese leader and a U.S. Speaker of the House on U.S. soil, although it is seen as a potentially less provocative alternative to McCarthy visiting Taiwan.

China reacted to a visit to Taiwan last year by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) by undertaking military exercises that blockaded Taiwan’s major ports, which Taiwan’s Foreign Minister asserted China was using as a “game plan” for invasion. 

The White House has urged China not to use Tsai’s “normal” stopover in the United States as a pretext to increase aggressive activity against Taiwan.

“During transits through the U.S., the President engages with American friends, in line with past precedents,” Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington said. It did not elaborate when asked about Tsai’s planned meeting with McCarthy.

PHOTO: Taiwan President Tsai in Guatemala on Saturday

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