After Taiwan’s US visit: China announces ‘firm’ response

The State Department said Thursday that the meeting in the US state of California was a “serious violation of the One China policy,” state news agency Xinhua reported. Part of the One China Policy is recognizing Beijing as the sole representative of China.

Since the split between mainland China and Taiwan in 1949, Beijing has considered the island a breakaway territory that it wants to reunify by military force. The State Department added that the Taiwan issue is “a red line in Sino-US relations”.

The Chinese Defense Ministry also condemned the meeting. “We firmly oppose any official contact between the United States and Taiwan, as well as the visit of a senior Taiwanese official (…) to the United States,” Xinhua said. Ahead of Xi’s visit, China had warned the US against “playing with fire”. A “serious conflict” is imminent.

Reuters/David Swanson

McCarthy on Wednesday spoke of increased cooperation between the United States and Taiwan

Chinese helicopter found

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a Chinese helicopter and three warships were spotted near the island. “A helicopter and three Chinese military vessels were spotted near Taiwan around 6 am today,” the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. It said Taiwan’s armed forces would “respond to these actions”.

Chinese officials had previously said they were stepping up patrols in the sea between the mainland and the island, but did not provide any details.

Taiwan Strait Shipping Surveys

Amid tensions, China has announced it will inspect all ships in the Taiwan Strait. The move will include “on-site inspections” of cargo ships and construction vessels on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to “ensure the safety of the ship and ensure the safe and orderly operation of key projects on the water,” the maritime security official said. power in the southeastern Chinese province on Wednesday.

Harbor at Koahsiung

Reuters/Ann Wang

Taiwanese shipping companies have been ordered to reject Chinese requests to board ships

Taiwan’s Ministry of Transport immediately protested the restrictions. Taiwan’s transport minister has instructed shipping companies to reject Chinese requests to board Taiwanese ships and to immediately notify the Taiwan Coast Guard, the Taipei government said.

The direct container route from Pingtan to Taiwan, passenger ferries to Taiwan’s Kinmen and Matsu islands near mainland China, the regular cross-strait sea route, areas for commercial and fishing vessels, and areas where illegal sand mining is commonly operated are affected.

Taiwan: Proof that we are not isolated

Tsai, who arrived in the US on Wednesday, was greeted by a large group of MPs from McCarthy’s Republican Party and President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party. Taiwan’s president called it a source of welcome that Taiwan has friends in the international community and that “we are not isolated, not alone.”

McCarthy said he is “hopeful” the United States and Taiwan will continue to find ways to work together to promote economic freedom, democracy, peace and stability in Asia. McCarthy Tsai said a shared belief in democracy and freedom is the “foundation” of a lasting relationship.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken recently urged China not to further escalate tensions with Taiwanese President Tsai Tsai’s stay in the US. “In simple language, this means that Beijing should not use transit as an excuse for measures to increase tensions (…),” Blinken said in Brussels on Wednesday. Transfers of high-ranking Taiwanese politicians are nothing new. “They’re personal, they’re unofficial.” This also applies to related meetings.

A “quiet” meeting with senators in New York

Tsai, who arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening on her way back from a visit to Central America, had already stayed in New York last week. It was only later learned that Tsai had already met with a cross-party group of senators at this point.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and White House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a meeting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

AP/Ringo Hw Chiu

The politicians met at the Ronald Reagan Library

Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Republican Joan Ernst of Iowa and Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona expressed their support for Taiwan’s democracy in a “quiet” meeting, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Also on the agenda is a bill that would impose tough economic and financial sanctions against China in the event of an invasion of Taiwan.

According to the newspaper, Sullivan spoke of China’s “enormous pressure” on Taiwan and added of Tsai’s visit to the US: “When the leader of such an important democracy comes to our country, it is more important than ever to ensure that the dictators in Beijing, especially those on American soil, can meet and It does not dictate that it cannot be met.

“Hurts the National Sentiments of 1.4 Billion Chinese”

China had earlier warned the US that House Speaker McCarthy’s reception of the Taiwanese president would further strain relations between the two countries. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles said earlier this week that the meeting would “severely hurt the national sentiments of 1.4 billion Chinese people,” undermine the “political basis of Sino-US relations” and “further damage ties.”

President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen

APA/AFP/Getty Images/Mario Tama

This is the first meeting of this scale since 1979

A visit to Taiwan last year by McCarthy’s predecessor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, caused major tensions. In August 2022, in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China conducted extensive military maneuvers around the islands.

Beijing views a meeting at such a high political level as a departure from the one-China principle, which is recognized by the United States and required by all countries that have diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The United States is also the most important ally of democratically organized Taiwan.

Cracks in China-US relations

The Tsai-McCarthy meeting came at a critical time in US-China relations. CNN reports that the US and Beijing have recently been trying to “stabilize their communications” amid rising tensions from the downing of a Chinese surveillance balloon to semiconductor supply chains.

Taiwan president meets US leaders

Despite China’s criticism and threats, US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in California.

According to the American broadcaster, if Beijing now “reacts” after the Tsai-Pelosi meeting, these rapprochement efforts will become obsolete again. Taiwan “is still experiencing the fallout from that August response, as Chinese forces routinely cross the previously informal but widely respected Beijing-Taipei border in the Taiwan Strait.”

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