BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reportase One) – China on Wednesday threatened to retaliate if United States House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Kevin McCarthy met Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen during Tsai’s planned stop in the United States next month.
China said such a move would be a “provocation”.
China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory, has repeatedly warned US officials against meeting Tsai, viewing this as a desire for the island to be recognized as a nation.
China played war games around Taiwan in August last year when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, and Taiwan’s soldiers say they are keeping a close eye on China’s every move while Tsai is abroad.
Tsai will depart on Wednesday en route to Guatemala and Belize where she will make stops in New York and Los Angeles. Although it has not been officially confirmed, he is expected to meet McCarthy while in California at the end of his visit.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesman for China’s Office on Taiwan affairs, told reporters in Beijing that Tsai’s “stopover” in the US was not just for her to wait at an airport or hotel, but to meet US officials and lawmakers.
“If he communicates with US House Speaker McCarthy, it would be a provocative act that seriously violates the one-China principle, endangers China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and destroys peace and stability on the Taiwan Peninsula,” Zhu said.
“We resolutely oppose this and will take steps to fight back,” Zhu added, without elaborating on the steps to be taken.
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The US says stopovers by the Taiwanese leader are normal and that China should not use Tsai’s trip to pursue aggressive actions against Taiwan.
The Taiwanese leader routinely passes through the United States when visiting diplomatic allies in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which, while not official visits, are often used by the two sides to hold high-level meetings.
China says that China (mainland) and Taiwan belong to ‘one China’, and Taiwan being a Chinese province, the island does not have any rights of relations between countries.
Taiwan’s government balks at China’s claims of sovereignty, and while Tsai has repeatedly offered talks with Beijing, she has also said only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.
Tsai is expected to give a statement at the airport before her flight to New York.
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Translator: Yoanita Hastryka Djohan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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