China threatened the US that it would respond, on Wednesday, if United States House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sees Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen while the latter would be on her planned transit of the US next month, warning that anything like this would be a “provocation.”
China has always been against representatives of the US meeting Tsai as it considers meetings between the two countries as an endorsement of recognising Taiwan as a separate country. In this regard, China, which regards democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory, has frequently advised US representatives not to meet Tsai.
When former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August last year, China conducted war exercises around Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s armed forces, they are always on the lookout for any Chinese moves during Tsai’s absence. She is anticipated to meet McCarthy in California at the conclusion of her journey, though this has not been verified.
The spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhu Fenglian, told reporters in Beijing that Tsai’s “transits” through the United States for her involved more than just waiting at the hotel or airport, rather concluding meetings with American legislators and officials.
She said that if McCarthy made contact with her, it would be a severe breach of the one-China principle, a threat to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a threat to the peace and security of the Taiwan Strait.
Zhu said, “We vehemently oppose this and will unquestionably take measures to resolutely fight back.” She did not provide much details.
The United States claims that Taiwanese leaders frequently travel between the two countries and advises China not to use Tsai’s visit as an excuse to take any aggressive action against Taiwan.
Taiwanese presidents frequently travel through the US on their way to diplomatically important destinations in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Although these trips are not formal state visits, they are frequently used by both sides for high-level meetings.
China claims that since both it and Taiwan are part of “one China,” the island is not entitled to any kind of interstate relations.
Although Tsai has repeatedly offered to hold talks with Beijing, she has also stated that only the people of Taiwan have the power to determine their destiny. Taiwan’s government vehemently rejects China’s claims to sovereignty.