Taiwan President Visiting US: No Meeting with House Speaker

As China’s foreign ministry condemned Taiwanese President Tsai Ing- wen’s trip to and from Central America on Tuesday, Taipei refused to confirm rumors that she will meet with Kevin McCarthy during her time in the United States.

Since either country does not officially sanction these trips, they are frequently used for high-level discussions between the Taiwanese government and its diplomatic partners in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

The United States is China’s leading international ally and weaponry supplier. On the other hand, unlike most other nations, it has not established a diplomatic relationship with Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

According to Lin Yu-chan, a spokesperson for the Presidential Office, Tsai will depart Taipei on March 29 and return on April 7; while in transit, she will visit New York and LA. Her final destinations will be Guatemala and Belize. Reliable sources told Reuters that McCarthy would like to meet her when she is in California.

Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui of Taiwan said specifics of the US transits would be released once plans were finalized when asked if he could confirm the McCarthy meeting.

Following then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, China conducted military drills in the area in August.

Only 14 nations have recognized diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and two of them are Guatemala and Belize. After announcing last week that it will seek diplomatic ties with Beijing, Honduras has yet to sever ties with Taiwan.

Just before Taiwan announced Tsai’s trip, a senior US administration official said that her scheduled travels are a regular occurrence and that Beijing should not justify drastic action toward the democratically ruled island.

On a teleconference with reporters on Monday night, a senior US official said that every president of Taiwan has passed through the United States and that Tsai had done so six times since taking office in 2016, the most recent being in 2019.

The official noted that her mobility had been constrained in recent years because of the COVID-19 outbreak but that she had visited with members of Congress at each of her visits.

Tsai’s planned meeting with McCarthy in the United States is a possible substitute for McCarthy’s desire to make a delicate visit to Taiwan.

The United States only has informal links with Taipei. But, it must comply with US law and provide the island with a means of self-defense. However, Taiwan is the Chinese regime’s most sensitive territorial issue and a principal contention with Washington.

The government of Taiwan maintains that the People’s Republic of China has no claim to Taiwan because it has never ruled the island and that the fate of Taiwan and its 23 million inhabitants rests solely in the hands of the people of Taiwan.