The president of Taiwan arrives in New York on her way to her Central American allies

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on a stopover ahead of her visits to the island’s allies in Central America, with an eye on whether she will anger China by meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.

As reported by Kyodo News, after visiting Guatemala and Belize, Tsai plans to travel to Los Angeles to return from there to Taiwan. Taiwanese media have reported that he is expected to meet with McCarthy, the third-ranking official in the United States after the president and vice president.

Tsai last visited the United States in July 2019 as part of a trip to Caribbean countries with diplomatic ties to Taiwan. She arrived at a Manhattan hotel waving to the crowd, with supporters from both Taipei and Beijing holding rallies nearby.

Beijing, which views Taiwan as its own territory, reacted fiercely to a visit to the island last August by McCarthy’s predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, holding large-scale military exercises nearby and suspending dialogue with the United States on various fronts.

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Several people gather in front of a New York hotel that welcomes the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, to celebrate her arrival in the city. (Kyodo)

Xu Xueyuan, China’s acting ambassador to the United States, expressed his displeasure at Tsai’s visit to the United States, telling reporters that his real intention behind the trip is to seek Taiwan independence.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Beijing “strongly protests and condemns” the US organization of the Tsai transit.

It alleged that Washington and Taipei arranged for Tsai to participate in political activities in the United States and “framed it as a ‘transit’ to enhance official exchanges and substantive relations” with Taiwan, according to official ministry transcripts.

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The US government has tried to downplay Tsai’s presence in the United States, with White House national security spokesman John Kirby telling reporters that China “should not use this transit as a pretext to escalate any aggressive activity in around the Taiwan Strait.

Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesman, told a separate news conference: “The transits by high-level authorities from Taiwan are not visits. They are private and unofficial, and they are not new.”

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A group of people organize a pro-China demonstration in front of a New York hotel that hosts the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. (Kyodo)

Meanwhile, former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who is visiting mainland China, met with Song Tao, who heads the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and He stressed the need for both sides of the strait to maintain exchanges and avoid any conflict.

Ma is the first former Taiwanese leader to visit mainland China since the two sides broke up in 1949 over a civil war. He is a senior official in the Taiwan Nationalist Party, the main opposition party, and was born in Hong Kong.

The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan, supplying the island with weapons and spare parts to help it maintain a self-defense capability.

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Written by Editor TLN

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