China vows ‘strong’ measures after McCarthy meets Taiwan’s Tsai Ing Wen

China vowed to take “strong and resolute measures” following a Wednesday meeting between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California.  Beijing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that it would take such action to “defend [its] sovereignty and territorial integrity,” urging that the U.S. “not go further down the wrong and dangerous path.” “We will take resolute measures to punish the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and their actions, and resolutely safeguard our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement Thursday morning, referring to Tsai and her political party as separatists. McCarthy and bipartisan lawmakers met with Tsai at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, choosing their words carefully while acknowledging China’s threats against the Taiwan government. TOP GOP CONGRESSMAN ISSUES STARK WARNING OVER US ‘VULNERABILITY’ TO CHINA AFTER MEETING WITH TAIWAN PRESIDENT “America’s support for the people of Taiwan will remain resolute, unwavering and bipartisan,” McCarthy said at a news conference later. He also noted that U.S.-Taiwan ties are stronger than at any other point in his life. Tsai said the United States’ “unwavering support reassures the people of Taiwan that we are not isolated,” telling reporters that she and McCarthy had discussed the importance of self-defense, trade and economic ties and the island government’s ability to participate in the international community. “We once again find ourselves in a world where democracy is under threat and the urgency of keeping the beacon of freedom shining cannot be understated,” Tsai said. PELOSI PRAISES MCCARTHY’S ‘LEADERSHIP’ AFTER TAIWAN MEETING The meeting comes as the U.S.-China relationship has fallen to historic lows.  The Biden administration maintains that there is nothing provocative about the visit by Tsai, which is the latest of a half-dozen to the U.S.  The formal trappings of the meeting, and the senior rank of some of the elected officials in the delegation from Congress, could lead China to view it as an escalation. No speaker is known to have met with a Taiwanese president in the U.S. since America broke off formal diplomatic relations in 1979 while formally establishing diplomatic relations with the Beijing government.  As part of its recognition of China, the U.S. “One China” policy acknowledges that Beijing lays claim to Taiwan but does not endorse China’s claim. The U.S. remains Taiwan’s key provider of military and defense assistance – though Washington does not explicitly say whether it will come to Taiwan’s aid in the case of a conflict with China. Taiwan and China split 74 years ago following a civil war and have no official relations. This meeting comes as congressional visits to Taiwan have increased in the past year. In August, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan to meet with Tsai, and China reacted with its largest live-fire drills in decades. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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