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Taiwan President Meets U.S. House Speaker in California Amid Chinese Protests

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met in California on Wednesday, marking the most senior U.S. figure to meet a Taiwanese leader on U.S. soil since 1979. This occurred despite threats of retaliation from China, which claims Taiwan as its own.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and Kevin McCarthy
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and Kevin McCarthy

Reagan Presidential Library Hosts High-Level Meeting

McCarthy welcomed Tsai at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. During the meeting, which included Republican and Democratic lawmakers, McCarthy referred to Tsai as "a great friend to America" and expressed optimism for future collaborations between the two countries.

China Conducts War Games Amid US-Taiwan Diplomacy

In response to the visit, China staged war games around Taiwan last August and positioned a Chinese aircraft carrier group near the island's southeast coast ahead of the meeting between Tsai and McCarthy.

U.S. Secretary of State Urges China to Remain Calm

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged Beijing not to use the meeting as an excuse to take action or increase tensions, stating that there was nothing new about a Taiwanese president transiting through the U.S.

Taiwan Supporters Gather at Reagan Library

Supporters waving Taiwan flags and pro-Taiwan and Hong Kong banners gathered in the Reagan Library parking lot ahead of the meeting, chanting "Jiayou Taiwan," the equivalent of "Go Taiwan."

China Warns Against High-Level US-Taiwan Meeting

Beijing has warned against a meeting between McCarthy and Tsai, who is on her first U.S. stopover since 2019; some analysts expect a more moderate reaction than that to Pelosi's Taipei visit. A meeting in California is a potentially less provocative alternative to McCarthy visiting Taiwan.

Chinese Carrier Group Monitored by Taiwan

Taiwan's defense ministry reported that Taiwanese naval and air forces closely monitored the Chinese carrier group, led by the carrier Shandong, as it passed through the Bashi Channel and into waters southeast of Taiwan.

U.S.-Taiwan Relations Continue Amid Rising Tensions

Despite increased pressure from Beijing, the U.S. has maintained its unofficial relationship with Taiwan and is legally bound to provide the island with the means to defend itself. Blinken emphasized that Tsai's transit through the U.S. was "private" and "unofficial," urging Beijing not to use it as an excuse to escalate tensions.

Chinese Diplomat Warns of Potential US-China Confrontation

Xu Xueyuan, charge d'affaires at China's Washington embassy, warned that the meeting between McCarthy and Tsai "could lead to another serious confrontation in the China-U.S. relationship." Since Pelosi's visit, U.S.-Chinese relations have deteriorated; many claim it is at the worst level since 1979.