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Taiwanese leader to meet with McCarthy amid Chinese threats

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation) — Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is expected to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in Los Angeles Wednesday to warn of China’s threat to invade Taiwan by 2027.

China views Taiwan as its own territory and treats any dealings between U.S. and Taiwanese officials as a challenge to its sovereignty. Tsai’s tour is a bid to demonstrate that her government has international support.

The meeting with McCarthy will be the most politically sensitive part of her trip, especially following former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last year which was met with threats and scrutiny from China.

However, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was more dramatic than Tsai’s visit to the U.S.

“This is clearly different than when Speaker Pelosi traveled last summer and actually visited Taipei,” Esper said.

“It sends a very important message of support to Taiwan and asserts the fact that American officials will meet whoever they want, wherever they want, and that we will support Taiwan,” Esper said.

But China is the one which keeps threatening some kind of retaliation, Esper explained.

The U.S.’s longstanding “one-China” policy acknowledges that the Chinese claim Taiwan as their territory. However, the U.S. does not endorse that claim and remains Taiwan’s most important provider of military hardware and other defense assistance.

China has repeatedly asserted its claim to Taiwan, though Taiwan maintains its own democratic system of government since the sides split after a civil war in 1949.

However, Esper said it’s China that’s actually trying to change the rules of the game, and trying to up the ante through military exercises through threats of retaliation. He explained that they’re trying to unilaterally change the status quo, which the U.S. always said it would not tolerate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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