Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen landed in New York on Wednesday for a stopover that will last until Saturday, when she departs for Guatemala and Belize.
Her return trip is scheduled to include a layover in Los Angeles, during which she might meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The Chinese Communist government was enraged by Tsai’s stops in the United States and threatened to take “resolute countermeasures” if her meeting with McCarthy takes place.
Tsai was unfazed by China’s attempt to cancel her trip.
“External pressure will not hinder our determination to go to the world. We are calm and confident, will neither yield nor provoke. Taiwan will firmly walk on the road of freedom and democracy and go into the world. Although this road is rough, Taiwan is not alone,” she said as she was leaving Taiwan.
Tsai’s visits to Guatemala and Belize, two of Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies, took on a greater sense of urgency after Honduras cut ties and switched its diplomatic recognition to Beijing on Sunday. Taiwan had a formal relationship with only 13 nations after Honduras left.
Tsai has no public events scheduled during her brief stay in New York, but the Chinese Communist regime grew belligerent as soon as she arrived, threatening especially dire consequences if she meets with McCarthy on her return trip.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office threatened on Wednesday:
“If Taiwan’s regional leader Tsai Ing-wen meets with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it would be a provocation that seriously violates one-China principle, undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as damages peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. And we will take resolute measures to counter this.
The Taiwan Affairs Office lectured the Biden administration not to facilitate Tsai’s “transit” or make any “official contact” with her while she visits the United States.
China’s state-run Global Times boiled with hysterical accusations that Tsai and the U.S. are conspiring to “destroy Taiwan” by provoking a war with China and warned the Taiwanese leader that she was foolish for “seeking independence by relying on the U.S.”
The Chinese paper hyperventilated because Tsai presented former White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien with the Order of the Brilliant Star last week, a benign civilian award the Global Times transformed into a grim totem of impending war because O’Brien gave an interview two weeks ago in which he mused the U.S. would be better off destroying Taiwan’s crucial semiconductor labs than allowing them to fall under Beijing’s control.
Another Global Times editorial on Wednesday fumed at Western media for noticing how angry Tsai’s visit to the Americas is making the Chinese Communist government. The Global Times insisted Beijing is merely being prudently concerned after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s supposedly outrageous visit to Taiwan last August.
Amusingly quoting some of the same “Chinese experts” it turned to in its other screed from the same day, the Global Times tried arguing that Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might just be helpless pawns of evil American foreign policy:
Some US media outlets noted that the trip comes at a sensitive time as US-China relations have been at a low point after the US blatantly shot down a Chinese unmanned airship for civilian use last month and has continued curbing China’s high tech development. Delayed high-level talks between Washington and Beijing also weigh on the already strained bilateral ties.
“The attitude of the US and its level of reception are very sensitive. The DPP authorities understand that such a move is playing with fire but they have to be obedient to Washington in playing the ‘Taiwan card,'” Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Beijing Union University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Given the overall political will and the anti-China hostilities inside the US government, Washington will continue playing the “Taiwan card,” which won’t be helpful for the China-US relations, Zhu said.
The Global Times concluded by huffing in outrage that U.S. officials would dare tell Beijing not to “overreact” to Tsai’s visit and vowing to “pay attention to any detail, small moves and every sentence if Tsai meets with U.S. officials.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning railed at the U.S. on Thursday for disregarding China’s orders to stay away from Tsai.
“The U.S. and the Taiwan authorities made arrangements for Tsai to engage in political activities in the U.S. and framed it as a ‘transit’ to upgrade official exchanges and substantive relations with the Taiwan region,” she charged.
Mao demanded the U.S. “stop all forms of official interaction with Taiwan, stop upgrading its substantive exchanges with the region, and stop fudging and hollowing out the ‘One-China’ principle.”
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