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US House speaker to host Taiwan president on Wednesday in California

2023-04-03T14:54:15Z

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will host a meeting in California on Wednesday with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, his office said, part of a sensitive U.S. stopover that has drawn Chinese threats of retaliation.

China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, has repeatedly warned U.S. officials not to meet Tsai. She is on her first U.S. stopover since 2019, though Taiwanese presidents have regularly made such trips.

“On Wednesday, April 5th, Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be hosting a bipartisan meeting with the President of Taiwan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library,” his office said in a statement.

The announcement is official confirmation of what had been a widely anticipated meeting.

It will be the first between a Taiwanese leader and a U.S. House of Representatives Speaker on U.S. soil, although it is seen as a potentially less provocative alternative to McCarthy visiting Taiwan, something he has said he hopes to do.

The White House has urged China to not use Tsai’s “normal” stopover in the United States as a pretext to increase aggressive activity against Taiwan.

“During transits through the U.S., the President engages with American friends, in line with past precedents,” Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington said without elaborating when asked about the meeting.

Related Galleries:

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends a dinner banquet as she arrives for a visit in Belize, in this handout picture released on April 3, 2023. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen departs the Lotte Hotel in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., March 30, 2023. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
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