China vows to ‘defend territorial integrity’ ahead of Tsai meeting McCarthy

Beijing, Apr 4 (EFE).- China Tuesday reiterated its objection to an anticipated meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

Tsai will meet McCarthy during the Taiwanese president’s stopover in the US on Wednesday, her office said on Tuesday.

The possible meeting ruffled many Chinese feathers in a reminder of the angry response to then-House leader Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip last year.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters that the Chinese government “strongly opposed to the US arranging for Tsai Ing-wen to transit through its territory.”

Mao said the government “strongly opposed to the meeting between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking US official, and Tsai Ing-wen,” said Mao.

“It seriously violates the One-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, and seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.

She said China would closely monitor the situation and “firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The spokesperson urged Washington to “respect the principle of ‘one China’ and the three joint communiqués signed” by the two powers.

The Taiwanese Presidential Office Monday said Tsai would meet McCarthy during a stopover in California on her return from a trip to Central America.

Tsai was in Belize and Guatemala, two of the 13 countries that still maintain diplomatic ties with Taipei.

Last week, the Chinese foreign ministry said a meeting between Tsai and McCarthy would be a “serious provocation” to which Beijing would respond.

In August 2022, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan angered Beijing, which described it as a “farce” and “deplorable treason”.

In response to Pelosi’s trip, China conducted military drills, encircling the self-ruled island, and sent warplanes across the median live that divides the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing also suspended contact with the US over several important issues.

Taiwan is one of the key sources of tension between China and the US, mainly because Washington is Taipei’s key arms supplier and could be its greatest military ally in the event of a war with China.

China considers the self-ruled island part of its territory.

Beijing says it reserves the right to use force to reunify Taiwan, even as a peaceful merger would be its first choice.

The island was the refuge of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) forces after losing the civil war with the Communists, who, since then, have claimed sovereignty over the territory.

In 1979, Washington broke diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing. However, the American Institute in Taiwan operates as a de facto embassy in Taipei. EFE


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