China warns House Speaker McCarthy don’t ‘repeat disastrous past mistakes’ by meeting Taiwan president: report

China warned U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy again on Tuesday not to “repeat disastrous past mistakes” by meeting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Reuters reported. “China firmly opposes any form of official interactions between the US and Chinese Taiwan region. We firmly oppose any so-called visit by leaders of the Taiwan region to the US in any name or under whatever pretext,” a spokesperson of consulate general of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles said Tuesday.  “If Speaker McCarthy ignores the international community’s broad support for the one-China principle, refuses to draw lessons from others’ mistakes, and insists on playing the ’Taiwan card,’ it will undoubtedly further damage China-US relations, and even strengthen the strong determination of the Chinese people to unite and fight for national reunification,” the spokesperson said, according to a readout on the consulate’s site.  “The Chinese side will continue to closely follow the situation and resolutely safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”  SPEAKER MCCARTHY, TAIWAN CAN COUNTER CHINA IF THEY LEARN FROM RONALD REAGAN  McCarthy’s office confirmed Monday that the third most senior U.S. government official will be hosting a bipartisan meeting with the President of Taiwan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday. Tsai is finishing a tour of Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies in Latin America, Belize and Guatemala, and is expected to meet with McCarthy outside Los Angeles while she “transits” back home, according to Taiwan and U.S. officials. “Tsai’s visit is not so much a ‘transit,’ but an attempt to seek breakthroughs and propagate ‘Taiwan independence,’” the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles countered Tuesday. “In disregard of China’s strong démarches and repeated warnings, the US side insisted on arranging the so-called ‘transit’ for Tsai Ing-wen, connived and supported the Taiwan authorities’ acts of seeking independence. China strongly protests and condemns that.”  Belize and Guatemala are two of just 13 countries that formally recognize Taiwan, a number that has dipped as China has put pressure on and funneled money into isolating the island.  Tsai’s Latin American trip comes just a week after Honduras announced it was cutting ties with Taiwan in favor of China, potentially prompted by a $300 million hydroelectric dam project in central Honduras built by a Chinese company.  “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid,” Chang Tun-han, deputy secretary-general of Taiwan’s presidential office, said Monday, according to the Financial Times, rejecting China’s threats over Tsai’s meeting with McCarthy. Chang quoted from a 1983 speech by the late US president Ronald Reagan.  TAIWAN SCRAMBLES JETS, SHIPS AFTER ‘IRRATIONAL ACTIONS’ BY CHINESE MILITARY  “It is the right of the 23 million people of Taiwan to have exchanges with democratic nations, and there is no room for China to comment,” Chang said.  Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has never been part of China, and that China’s recent criticism has become increasingly “absurd.” “Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a sovereign country, and has the right to make its own determination in developing relations with other countries in the world,” it said in a statement Monday. “It does not accept interference or suppression by any country for any reason, and will not limit itself because of intimidation or interference.” Keeping up the military pressure, China’s People’s Liberation Army sent 20 warplanes toward Taiwan Monday to Tuesday as well as three warships in the latest round of exercises, which have increased significantly in recent years. Last December, China sent 71 planes and seven ships toward Taiwan in a 24-hour display of force after it expressed anger at Taiwan-related provisions in a U.S. annual defense spending bill. And last year, China responded to a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan with the largest live-fire drills in decades that included firing a missile over the island, which had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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