President Kevin McCarthy will meet the Taiwanese president in California next month – rather than a meeting in Taipei – to avoid provoking China amid high tensions between Beijing and Washington.
McCarthy will meet President Tsai Ing-wen in California, Reuters reported. She was invited to speak at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library during a stopover on a planned visit to Central America.
The speaker’s meeting with her could be organized around this speech. McCarthy’s office did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The meeting would come as relations between the United States and China deteriorated following the spy balloon China sent over the United States and Xi Jinping considers lethal aid to Russia for its war. in Ukraine.
President Kevin McCarthy (left) will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (right) in California next month instead of traveling to Taiwan
Additionally, there were fears that Beijing would step up its military response if McCarthy visited the island. Last week, China sent warplanes and warships to Taiwan, and the United States responded by giving Tsai’s government ammunition for its fighter jets.
The White House declined to comment, saying no visit to the United States has been announced by Tsai’s government.
“I don’t believe Taiwan has announced a trip for the president of Taiwan,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Monday’s press briefing.
“Taiwan presidents have traveled to the United States in the past. I would therefore refer you to Taiwan for any specific information on this subject. And I would definitely refer you to the president’s office, any potential meeting he might have with the president,” she said.
McCarthy, a Republican from California, has repeatedly said he wants to visit Taiwan, as Nancy Pelosi did when she was a speaker.
But he agreed to meet Tsai in the United States due to Taiwanese security concerns, the Financial Times reported.
A senior Taiwanese official told the outlet that Tsai’s administration provided McCarthy’s team with “some intelligence on what the Chinese Communist Party has been doing recently and the types of threats it poses.”
The official added that China was “not in a good situation”.
The Chinese Communist Party claims Taiwan, a democratically governed island of 24 million, as part of its sovereign territory although it has never controlled it.
If the McCarthy and Tsai reunion in California happens, that doesn’t necessarily mean the speaker won’t travel to Taiwan, but it does reduce the odds.
McCarthy, in an interview with CNBC on Monday, declined to comment on whether he would travel to Taiwan, saying he would announce any travel plans when he has them.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has been invited to give a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California (above) and McCarthy may meet her there
China recently sent 25 fighter jets and three warships to Taiwan and the United States responded by giving the island missiles for its F-16s.
Tsai has visited the United States in the past. It is common for Taiwanese officials to stop over in the United States on other trips, though Washington is usually careful who it sends to meet with them to avoid angering China.
The United States, like many other countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by US law to provide it with the means to defend itself.
Washington has long used a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” meaning it does not specify whether it would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.
However, President Joe Biden has said four times in the past four years that the United States would intervene if China launched an unprovoked attack on the island.
Recently, the Biden administration approved a potential arms sale estimated at $619 million to Taiwan, including hundreds of missiles for F-16 fighter jets, after China sent 25 fighter jets and three warships to the island.
But the Chinese vehicles did not cross the sensitive center line of the Taiwan Strait, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two shores.
No shots were fired and the Chinese plane flew within Taiwan’s ADIZ, not its territorial airspace.
The ADIZ is a larger area that Taiwan monitors and patrols and acts to give it more time to respond to any threats.
President Nancy Pelosi in her car arriving at her hotel in Taipei, where she was cheered on by locals, during her August 2022 trip to Taiwan
Relations between Beijing and Washington are at an all-time low due to China’s actions towards Taiwan, its aggressive trade policies and its actions in the South China Sea.
Pelosi, a Democrat, visited Taiwan and met with Tsai last year, defying warnings from China, which launched military drills around the island in response.
Beijing was furious. Chinese officials called the visit a “violation of the one-China principle”.
She was the highest American official to visit the island in 25 years.
The Biden administration has tried to calm the situation, repeatedly saying Pelosi made an independent decision to travel to Taiwan.
But China staged war games around the island simulating a blockade and fired missiles at it in the Pacific Ocean.