Taiwan Pres. Tsai Ing-wen Visits New York

Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • During a stop on her way to Central America, Taiwanese Pres. Tsai Ing-wen visited New York City. At a closed-door speech on Wednesday night, she reportedly said US-Taipei relations were "closer than ever" and touted "significant progress" in economic and security cooperation.

  • Coming amid rising tensions with China with the potential for armed conflict, and in keeping with US diplomatic protocol that says visits from Taiwanese leaders must be kept low-key, Tsai's visit remained largely out of the public eye.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

China is overreacting, as this was Tsai's sixth visit to the US since becoming president in 2016. All of a sudden, though, the PRC decided to become aggressive in its language, outright threatening consequences if she has a standard unofficial meeting with US officials during her trip. This is an overreach and reactionary rhetoric from Beijing.

Pro-China narrative

Taiwanese officials should not behave like Tsai on the international stage, but rather like former Pres. Ma. What Ma understands is that the Taiwanese and Chinese are of the same ancestors, and for the good of both China and its territories, Taipei must act in tandem with Beijing and not encourage bad actors rooted in Western hegemony. Peaceful talks with the mainland are the only way to avoid conflict.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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