HomeWorld NewsTaiwan Takes Defiant Stand After China Threatens Retaliation US Trip

Taiwan Takes Defiant Stand After China Threatens Retaliation US Trip

External pressure will not stop Taiwan engaging with the world, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday as she left for the United States, hitting a defiant note after China threatened retaliation if she met US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“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,” said President Tsai Ing-wen in the report.

China on Wednesday threatened to retaliate if McCarthy meets Tsai, saying that any such move would be a “provocation”.

According to a report by Reuters Tsai will be visiting Guatemala and Belize, and transit through New York first and Los Angeles on the way back. The report also says that she is expected to meet McCarthy while in California, but there are no official confirmations.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and does not acknowledge the democratically-elected government. It has repeatedly warned Taiwan from meeting US officials as it considers this a sign of Taiwan’s desire to be seen as a separate country.

This is Tsai Ing-wen’s first US transit since 2019 and her seventh since 2016 when she came to power. According to analysts Tsai’s transit to the US comes at a time when US-China relations were at their worst since 1979 when Washington normalized ties with Beijing in 1979 and switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei.

Meanwhile, the US has said that Tsai’s transits are routine and that China should not consider it as an aggressive move against Taiwan. A senior U.S. official said that there was no need for China to overact and said in the report that Tsai was planning a range of activities which included meeting with members of Congress, the Taiwanese diaspora and other groups.

“So there’s absolutely no reason for Beijing to use this upcoming transit as an excuse or a pretext to carry out aggressive or coercive activities aimed at Taiwan,” the official said in the report by Reuters.

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