The President of Taiwan was greeted in the United States by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, to China’s chagrin

Per her official schedule, Ing-wen only stopped in the United States on her way home from an official tour of Central America. But the meeting aroused great discontent in China.

For China, Taiwan is a breakaway province, not an independent country. Therefore, according to Beijing, there can be no rapprochement between the West, the United States in particular, and Taiwan. The United States recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979 and, in theory, should not have formal contact with the Republic of China (Taiwan), under the One China principle espoused by Beijing. The United States officially recognizes the One China policy, but the US government provides significant military support to Taiwan.

China also reacted angrily last summer when McCarthy’s predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan. Beijing considered that visit highly provocative and raised tensions between the United States and China to the highest level in years. Then China responded with large-scale military exercises around Taiwan. Once again, the Chinese government threatened countermeasures. It is said that many Chinese patrol ships and an aircraft carrier have been seen around Taiwan today.

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Denton Watson

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