Speaker McCarthy Meets with Taiwan President Tsai

April 5, 2023

On Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in California.

“The friendship between America and the people of Taiwan has never been stronger,” McCarthy tweeted, adding, “It is my honor” to welcome President Tsai to the Reagan Library.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers joined McCarthy in the meeting with Tsai, Including House Select Committee on China Chair Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).

McCarthy also invited House Democratic Leadership Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) as well as Jason Smith (R-MO), Julia Brownley (D-CA), John Curtis (R-UT), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Ryan Zinke (R-MT).

The meeting occurred despite threats from China that it would undertake “resolute countermeasures” if McCarthy and Tsai went through with their planned get-together, 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 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 met with McCarthy at the tail end of a weeklong world tour that included Wednesday’s stop in Los Angeles following a stop in New York City this past Thursday, after which she’d set off on a multi-nation tour of Central America. 

Tsai was defiant before embarking on her tour, telling reporters that “external pressure” would not stop Taiwan from connecting with like-minded democracies.

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. 

On Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced he plans to visit Taiwan during a trip to Asia later this month—raising speculation that he’s weighing a run for President in 2024.

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

PHOTO: @SpeakerMcCarthy

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