(CNSNews.com) – China, already furious about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on her “transit” through the United States, has new fodder for complaint on Thursday.
A bipartisan congressional delegation, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), arrived in Taiwan overnight.
“While there, the delegation will meet with Taiwanese business leaders, as well as senior Taiwanese officials from the executive and legislative branches to discuss ways the U.S. can strengthen our economic and defense relationship with Taiwan in the face of growing threats in the region,” McCaul said in a statement.
The Americans’ visit to Taiwan comes a day after McCarthy met with President Tsai at the Reagan Library:
“Today, we stood up to China,” McCarthy told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Wednesday night.
McCarthy said that China “needs to hear…that Congress will act together, that we can’t allow this authoritarian view, this bullying, trying to dictate to who we can talk to and who we can speak to, when this (Taiwan) is an ally.
“This is a democracy, believes in freedom. I mean, I think this meeting was more important today than at any given time. And our relationship with Taiwan and the Taiwan people, I think, has been greater than any time in history.
“And again, sitting in Reagan library, think about what Reagan was able to accomplish — peace through strength, defending freedom.”
In remarks at the Reagan Library, Tsai spoke about “Taiwan’s commitment to defending the peaceful status quo, where the people of Taiwan may continue to thrive in a free and open society.”
She said she also “highlighted a belief which President Reagan championed, that to preserve peace, we must be strong. I would like to add that we are stronger when we are together.”
Following her meeting with McCarthy, President Tsai tweeted: “After meeting with members of the US Congress from both sides of the aisle, I was heartened by their strong bipartisan support for #Taiwan. Thank you to @SpeakerMcCarthy & all our American friends. When we stand together, we are all stronger.”
In furious reaction, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying:
“Through the past few days, in disregard of China’s serious representations and repeated warnings, the United States deliberately greenlighted the transit of Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Taiwan region, through the United States.
“US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the number three in the US government, had a high-profile meeting with Tsai. Other US officials and lawmakers also had contact with Tsai and provided the platform for her separatist rhetoric for ‘Taiwan independence.’
“This is essentially the United States acting with Taiwan to connive at ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists’ political activities in the United States, conduct official contact with Taiwan and upgrade the substantive relations with Taiwan, and frame it as a ‘transit.’
“This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends an egregiously wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it.”
The Chinese statement also said the “Taiwan question” is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.”
“’Taiwan independence’ and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. The pursuit of ‘Taiwan independence’ will lead nowhere. In response to the egregiously wrong action taken by the United States and Taiwan, China will take strong and resolute measures to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
But as McCarthy told Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, “China can never tell us what to do. As speaker of the House, I’m going to meet with whoever we want to meet with, with whatever country…China is not going to intimidate us.
“And there’s no better place to be than here at Reagan’s Library — what it symbolizes, but more importantly, remember, yes, we have the three communiques with China, but we also have the six assurances with Taiwan that Ronald Reagan produced.
“And what we came (to) was a very bipartisan meeting. We had Republicans and Democrats here, speaking with one voice. And you know what? We need to speed up our weapons sales to Taiwan.
“Have we learned anything that’s happening around the world? Let them defend themselves — deter the ability of China to enter Taiwan. We need to be able to foster greater democracy and freedom. We need to be able to work together economically from the chip manufacturing and others.
“I found it a very productive meeting. It’s the first time a speaker of the house has ever met with a Taiwanese president on American soil, but I think it was very important, in a bipartisan manner.”
Meanwhile, the congressional delegation that just arrived in Taiwan, in addition to Chairman McCaul, includes: Reps. Young Kim (R-Calif.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), French Hill (R-Ark.), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.), and Nathaniel Moran (R-Texas).
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