PanamaTimes

Monday, May 20, 2024

US House leader, Taiwan president meet as China protests

US House leader, Taiwan president meet as China protests

Risking China’s ire, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy welcomed Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to a high-level meeting on US soil as a “great friend of America” on Wednesday in a fraught show of US support.
More than a dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including the House’s third-ranking Democrat, joined Republican McCarthy for the talks at southern California’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, against a backdrop of rising tensions between the US and China.

The members of Congress rose to their feet to greet the Taiwanese leader at a long table lined with bouquets. The formal trappings of the meeting, and the senior rank of some of the elected officials, in themselves threatened to run afoul of China’s position that any interaction between US and Taiwanese officials is a challenge to China’s claim of sovereignty over the island.

McCarthy said he wanted the Taiwan president to see that “this is a bipartisan meeting of members of Congress,” not any one political party.

“We will continue to find ways for the people of America and Taiwan to work together to promote economic freedom, democracy, peace and stability in Asia,” the House speaker said.

The United States broke off official ties with Taiwan in 1979 while formally establishing diplomatic relations with the Beijing government. The US acknowledges a “one-China” policy in which Beijing lays claim to Taiwan, but it does not endorse China’s claim to the island and remains Taiwan’s key provider of military and defense assistance.

For Tsai, it was the most sensitive stop on a weeklong journey meant to shore up alliances with the US and Central America. The US House speaker is second in line of succession to the president. No speaker is known to have met with a Taiwan president on US soil since the US broke off formal diplomatic relations.

China has reacted to past trips by Taiwanese presidents through the US, and to past trips to Taiwan by senior US officials, with shows of military force.

The Chinese responded to a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last August with its largest live-fire drills in decades, including firing a missile over the island.

Chinese officials have pledged a sharp but unspecified response to the meeting with McCarthy. There was no immediate reaction from China on Wednesday, a holiday there.

However, Chinese vessels started a joint patrol and inspection operation in the central and northern waters of the Taiwan Strait, state media announced Wednesday morning. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday evening it had also tracked the Chinese Army’s Shandong aircraft carrier passing through the Bashi Strait, to Taiwan’s southeast.

China’s “deliberate action has jeopardized regional stability and caused tension in Taiwan Strait,” Taiwan’s defense ministry said. “However, external pressures will not hinder our determination to move toward the world & defend our country.”

The Biden administration insists there is nothing provocative about this visit by Tsai, which is the latest of a half-dozen.

“The first thing to emphasize is that these transits by high-level Taiwanese authorities are nothing new,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday during travel in Europe. “They are private, they are unofficial, but they are nothing new.”

“Given that, Beijing should not use the transits as an excuse to take any actions, to ratchet up tensions, to further push at changing the status quo,” Blinken said.

“There’s no reason for the Chinese to overreact in any way,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday. “We’ll watch this as closely as we can.”

The Taiwan president’s visit to America comes as China, the US and its allies are strengthening their military positions and readiness for any confrontation between the two sides, with Taiwan and its claim to sovereignty a main flashpoint. Confrontation between the US and China, a rising power increasingly seeking to assert its influence abroad under President Xi Jinping, surged with Pelosi’s visit and again this winter with the cross-US journey of what the US says was a Chinese spy balloon.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war and have no official relations, although they are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment. China regularly flies fighter planes and bombers near Taiwan to emphasize its stance that the island is obliged to eventually unite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

When President Jimmy Carter formally established diplomatic relations with the Beijing government. Congress responded by writing into law that the US would nonetheless retain close ties with Taiwan.

For their part, Taiwanese officials in the United States – and Taiwanese presidents on a succession of visits – aim for a delicate balance of maintaining warm relations with their powerful American allies, without overstepping their in-between status in the US, or unnecessarily provoking China.

To that end, no Taiwanese flag flies over the former Taiwan Embassy in Washington.

Taiwanese presidents call their stops in the US “transits” rather than visits. They avoid Washington on their itineraries as well as any public meetings between their top-level officials and those of the US on American US soil.

McCarthy, who has seldom made forays into foreign policy, is trying to steer Republicans – and many Democrats – into taking a tougher approach to China.

As the newly elected House speaker, he started a Select Committee on China that is probing many aspects of Chinese actions in the US and abroad. Joining him for the bipartisan meeting were the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on that panel, along with the chairman of the Ways and Means
Committee that handles tax policy important to Taiwan, and lawmakers who are military veterans and members of the Armed Services Committee, among others.

The venue, at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles and near McCarthy’s own home district, evokes an era when the Republican Party played a more substantial role on global matters. In contrast, McCarthy’s GOP includes a strong non-interventionist wing that is more skeptical of involving the US overseas.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×