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Taiwan’s president is preparing for US “transit”… and a Chinese protest

Taiwan announced on Tuesday that President Tsai Ing-wen will visit the United States on a “transit visit” for the seventh time since taking office in 2016, before visiting Guatemala and Belize in late March, while China expressed its firm opposition to visiting “under any name.” or excuse”.

A spokesperson for the Taiwanese presidential office told reporters in the capital Taipei that Tsai “will stop in New York City and Los Angeles as part of her trip to Guatemala and Belize,” noting that the trip will begin on the 29th. March and will end on March 29. april 7
Sources told Reuters the Taiwanese president will meet with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

Asked if Tsai would meet McCarthy, Taiwan Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yu replied: “Details of the president’s stay in the United States will be announced later once arrangements are finalized.”

“usual operation”

And a senior US official considered, on Monday, that the Taiwanese president’s visit to the United States was a “routine” process, adding that “China should not use the visit as an excuse to carry out an act of aggression against the island.” .

He added that “every Taiwan president has passed through the United States,” noting that “Tsai has done this 6 times since she took office in 2016, and the last transit was in 2019, before the spread of the Corona virus.” .

The US official noted that the Taiwanese president “met during those visits with members of the US Congress by sight.” She also urged China to “keep communication channels open.”

chinese opposition

On the other hand, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it “resolutely opposes” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States “under any name or pretext.”

And he considered that the “suspension” of the Taiwanese president in the United States was “just a pretext”, and that the real objective was “to advance the idea of ​​Taiwan’s independence”. He noted that China had submitted formal protest notes to Washington in this regard.

And the US State Department announced on March 9 that it would not object to a visit that the Taiwanese president intends to make to California to meet with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price described Tsai’s upcoming trip at the time as “a transit, not a visit,” saying, “The fact that high-level Taiwanese officials are transiting through the The United States is consistent with longstanding American policy and our informal policy.” and strong relations with Taiwan”.

He added: “This is not something new, and it is not something that sets new standards. It is completely consistent with the current situation. He also mentioned that Tsai passed through the United States 6 times.

But the trips Price spoke of were largely just transit trips to or from some of Taiwan’s few allies in Latin America, not a visit to the United States for talks with a top US official, according to AFP.

And “Agence France Presse” reported that for McCarthy, his upcoming meeting with Tsai in his home state of California does not mean that he will not visit Taipei in the future, which has broad support in the US Congress. both parties.

In 1996, the US State Department, under pressure from Congress, allowed then-Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to visit Cornell University in New York, from which he graduated, in a move which led to the outbreak of a crisis during which China fired missiles into the waters near the island.

China took a similar step last August after then-Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

The experts saw in these maneuvers a Chinese test for the invasion of Taiwan, since China today is much stronger than in 1996, according to “Agence France Presse”.

China regards Taiwan, with a population of 23 million, as one of its provinces that has been unable to reunify it with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

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