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China warns McCarthy against meeting Taiwan president in CA

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
April 04, 2023

China has once again warned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy not to meet with the president of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, as the two leaders are set to meet this week amid historically tense U.S.-China relations.

The Chinese consulate in Los Angeles cautioned McCarthy not to “repeat disastrous past mistakes” by meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday in California, Reuters reported.

“It is not conducive to regional peace, security nor stability, and is not in the common interests of the people of China and the United States,” the consulate said, adding the move would “only strengthen the Chinese people’s strong will and determination to share a common enemy and support national unity.”

READ MORE: McCarthy to meet Taiwan president in CA, not Taiwan, fearing China’s response: Report

McCarthy and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are scheduled to meet Tsai on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, NBC News reported. The meeting will come as Tsai makes what is cautiously referred to as a “transit” across the U.S., rather than an official diplomatic visit, as the U.S. State Department describes its ties to Taiwan as an “unofficial relationship.”

China and Taiwan split in 1949 in a civil war that never officially ended. Since then, China’s openly stated goal of reabsorbing the democratic and capitalist island has grown into one of the world’s most sensitive geopolitical flashpoints.

READ MORE: China has doubts that it can capture Taiwan, CIA chief says

After McCarthy’s predecessor, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made a high-profile visit to Taiwan in August, China launched multiple days of military drills around the island and sanctioned Pelosi and her family.

Tsai’s latest transit will be her seventh visit to the U.S. as the leader of Taiwan, and her meeting with McCarthy is set to be the highest-level meeting ever to be held during the transit of a Taiwanese president, according to China Power.

Tsai’s transit has already taken her to New York – where she met top House Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, according to NBC – as well as Guatemala and Belize, two of Taiwan’s 13 remaining formal allies.
She is scheduled to stop in Los Angeles from Tuesday to Thursday on her way back to Taiwan, according to China Power.