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Taiwan president discusses “regional situation“ ahead of McCarthy meeting

2023-04-05T02:28:33Z

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends a video call with senior members of government and security officials in Taipei, during her trip in Belmopan, Belize, in this handout picture released on April 5, 2023. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met with senior security officials on Tuesday to discuss the “regional situation” ahead of her meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, which China has demanded not take place.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has threatened unspecified retaliation if the get-together, scheduled for Wednesday, happens.

After then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August, China staged war games around Taiwan.

Taiwan’s presidential office said that Tsai held the video conference from Belize, her last stop on a Central American trip before going to Los Angeles.

Tsai “listened to a briefing on the overall regional situation”, her office said in a statement.

“The president asked relevant units to continue to grasp the surrounding situation, and to enable the visiting delegation to continue to grasp the situation in real time,” it added, referring to keeping Tsai and her team updated while they are overseas.

Tsai “expressed her gratitude” to colleagues who are sticking to their posts to ensure national security during a long weekend holiday this week, the office said.

Officials on the call included National Security Council secretary-general Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who are with the president, as well as National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen, who has remained in Taipei, the statement added.

Taiwan has no far not reported any unusual Chinese military movements ahead of the McCarthy meeting.

Tsai is due to return to Taipei on Friday.

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