Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

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

0:00
0:00
Close
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
×