Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Thursday for a brief stay on the outbound leg of her trip to visit Taiwan’s allies in the Caribbean.
The communist Chinese government is furious at the United States for allowing Tsai to spend two days in New York. Chinese nationalists expressed that fury by attacking Tsai supporters outside the Grand Hyatt hotel where she was staying, resulting in at least one arrest when police stepped in to break up the brawls.
According to Taiwan News, “a scuffle ensued” when Tsai’s motorcade arrived at the Grand Hyatt. A crowd of supporters had assembled to greet the Taiwanese president, while a “crowd of angry Chinese protesters awaited across the street.”
“New York City Police had separated the two groups on opposite sides of New York’s 42nd Street. However, shortly after Tsai’s motorcade arrived, a small number of persons waving Chinese flags crossed the street and began harassing the pro-Taiwan crowd,” the Taiwan News report said, citing numerous smartphone videos of the confrontation uploaded to YouTube.
Channel News Asia on Friday quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry once again urging the U.S. “to not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory” and refrain from giving a platform to “Taiwan independence separatist forces.”
“Taiwan will not succumb to intimidation,” Tsai’s office responded. “All difficulties will only strengthen our determination to go out to the international community.”
Tsai met with envoys from Taiwan’s allies on Thursday evening and will travel to Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis during her Caribbean journey.
“This visit is termed the ‘Tour for Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability’ because freedom, democracy, and sustainability are the Taiwanese values we want to share with all our good friends in the world,” Tsai said as she departed Taiwan for New York.
Tsai said she will stress Taiwan’s commitment to freedom and democracy, cultivate business opportunities, and press for Taiwan’s inclusion in international business, security, and health organizations, which China has been working to freeze Taiwan out of.
The L.A. Times saw the Trump administration deliberately poking China in the eye by allowing Tsai to stay in New York for a couple of days right after approving a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan. Previous administrations have limited Taiwanese leaders to much shorter layovers in more at more remote American airports, particularly during times of great diplomatic tension with Beijing.