US House Speaker Meets With Taiwan's President

Image copyright: Getty Images [via BBC News]

The Facts

  • On Wednesday, US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers met with Taiwanese Pres. Tsai Ing-wen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. McCarthy, the third-highest ranking US leader, became the most senior US figure to meet with a leader of Taiwan on US soil in decades.

  • In a joint public appearance with McCarthy after their meeting, Tsai talked of how US support “reassures the people of Taiwan” that they’re not alone and paraphrased the late US Pres. Ronald Reagan by saying, “To preserve peace, we must be strong.”

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

China is fully within its rights to respond to any suspected violation of the “One China” policy as it sees fit. If Pres. Biden wants to engage in better relations with China, he’d be wise to ensure McCarthy tones down, or even cancels, his meeting with Tsai — otherwise, China’s military aircraft and naval vessels in the region might have to send Taiwan a message.

Anti-China narrative

China has no right to tell US officials who they can and can’t meet with, so the CCP propagandists should calm their saber rattling. China’s harassment of Taiwan is undignified, and the CCP already looks weak due to hints that its threatened response will be kept proportional to the relative profile of the meeting. If China doesn’t want trouble in the region, it shouldn’t cause it.

Metaculus Prediction

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