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China promises ‘forceful response’ after McCarthy’s Taiwan visit

By Elizabeth Delaney
|
April 7, 2023

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense reported on Friday that China has sent warships and a fighter jet for the third day in response to a meeting between Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

There was also an anti-submarine helicopter that crossed Taiwan's defense identification zone, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense told The Business Standard.

China declared it would implement a "firm and forceful" response to the two leaders meeting in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the warships began their moves on Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail.

U.S. shows support for self-governing of Taiwan

McCarthy hosted Tsai in Los Angeles on Wednesday as a show of support from the U.S. for self-governed Taiwan, which China wants to claim as its own.

The island-nation of Taiwan has been self-governed for 70 years.

Tsai expressed her gratitude in response to the meeting, which was attended by several other US national leaders.

Wednesday is the first time a U.S. speaker has been known to meet with a Taiwanese president in the U.S. since 1979, when the U.S. cut formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Her visit in Los Angeles was technically a lay-over after meeting with two Latin American officials representing diplomatic allies of Taiwan's.

China expresses ire over meeting between U.S. and Taiwan

Nevertheless, China insisted that the meeting should not have been held, and Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, issued a statement regarding her displeasure over it, according to the Daily Mail.

"China will take firm and forceful measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ning said.

The movement of China's war vessels and threats of military action has kept Taiwan on an anxious high alert.

"The Chinese communists continue to send aircraft and ships to encroach in the seas and airspace around Taiwan," Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense told Reuters.

China hasn't hidden its ambitions to one day acquire Taiwan as its own territory, even if it must do by force.

White House says visit not intended to be provocative

The White House indicated that the visit between McCarthy and Tsai was not intended to be a provocative visit.

"Compared with the visit of important US officials to Taiwan, the visit of the President of Taiwan to the US is a common practice." Shan-Son Kung from Taiwan's Institute for National Defense and Security Research told Daily Mail.

"America's support for the people of Taiwan will remain resolute, unwavering and bipartisan," McCarthy said in a news conference after the visit, according to the Daily Mail.

"[The] unwavering support reassures the people of Taiwan that we are not isolated," said Tsai during the news conference, adding that "It is no secret that today the peace that we have maintained and the democracy which we have worked hard to build are facing unprecedented challenges."

McCarthy confirmed that the U.S. will engage in arms sales with Taiwan even though it will likely infuriate China. His reasoning for doing so was to discourage Chinese aggression against Taiwan.

McCarthy said he feels history proves that the best way to discourage a country's aggression is to, "supply the weapons that allow people to deter war. It is a critical lesson that we learned through Ukraine, that the idea of just sanctions in the future is not going to stop somebody," McCarthy said during the news conference.