The Taiwanese president will stop in the United States for a series of meetings with US officials, despite the furious reactions from Beijing.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will briefly visit New York and Los Angeles before visiting Central American allies Guatemala and Belize.
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Her trip is expected to include a meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a diplomatic event that echoes former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s shocking visit to the island.
Tsai’s visit to the United States, and especially her planned meeting with McCarthy, has drawn strong backlash from the People’s Republic of China.
“We are seriously concerned about this and have taken serious steps on the US side by asking for clarification,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a news conference on Wednesday.
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He added, “The Taiwan issue is the core of China’s fundamental interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of Sino-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in Sino-US relations. Separatism for the independence of Taiwan is as incompatible with the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait as fire is with water.”
Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, is an island nation off the coast of the mainland. Taiwan declared itself independent from the People’s Republic of China and claimed the continuation of rule from pre-revolutionary China.
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The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow stretch of ocean between the island of Taiwan and mainland China.
Taiwan responded to China’s outrage on Thursday, saying mainland China “had no right” to intervene in the diplomatic meeting.
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“China does not have the right to point fingers at our contacts and interactions with other countries,” the head of Taiwan’s North American affairs department, Douglas Hsu, said on Thursday. “President Tsai is the head of the Republic of China in Taiwan, and it is unbearable for China to smear it with bad intentions.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang he said on Tuesday that his country and the United States are heading for “conflict and clashes” because of American cooperation with Taiwan.
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“If the United States does not brake – but continues to accelerate along the wrong path – no guardrail can prevent the derailment and there will certainly be conflicts and clashes and who will bear the catastrophic consequences?” Qin continued. “Such competition is a reckless bet, with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and even the future of humanity at stake.”