China Warns Against Taiwan President Meeting With McCarthy

    China Warns Against Taiwan President Meeting With McCarthy
    Last updated Mar 29, 2023
    Image credit: Associated Press


    • On Wednesday, China warned against Taiwanese Pres. Tsai Ing-wen meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during her tour of allied countries in the Americas, saying it would be "another provocation that seriously violates the one-China principle."[1]
    • Under the one-China policy, the US acknowledges China’s claims of sovereignty over Taiwan but recognizes the island's status as unresolved.[2]
    • Beijing's warning comes as Taiwan's president began a state visit to Guatemala and Belize, which will see her pass through New York on Wednesday and California on her return, where she's expected to meet with McCarthy, although this has yet to be officially confirmed.[1]
    • Despite the warning, Tsai vowed to act as she sees fit, adding that “Taiwan will soundly walk along the path of freedom and democracy to go global.”[3]
    • This comes as Honduras recently switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China, leaving the island nation with 13 formal diplomatic ties, including Guatemala and Belize. Meanwhile, Tsai's US transit — her first since 2019 — comes amid tense US-Sino relations and as Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, is currently visiting China.[4]
    • Following former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s August 2022 visit to Taiwan, China launched live-fire military exercises near the island. However, there have reportedly been no changes in Beijing's military activities in the region this week.[4]


    Anti-China narrative

    Tsai is simply passing through the US, and her so-called trip is an unofficial visit, consistent with US-Taiwan relations. Any tension or military conflict caused by Tsai's visit would be an outlandish escalation on China's part.

    Pro-China narrative

    China has made its case to the US about why meeting with Tsai would be a provocation, and if the two countries go through with it, they’ll be risking the lives and well-being of the people of Taiwan and undermining the "One China" policy. This trip, posturing as an innocent "transiting through," shouldn’t happen.

    Nerd narrative

    There’s a 68% chance that the US would respond with military force if China invades Taiwan before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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