June 6, 2023

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McCarthy meets with the President of Taiwan in California on Wednesday

Washington (CNN) House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is preparing to meet Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday — a historic event that comes amid warnings from China.

McCarthy’s office shared details of the meeting in a statement released Monday morning, noting that the California Republican will host a bipartisan meeting with Tsai at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. The bipartisan group will include Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, a member of the Democratic leadership, and the leaders of the Select Committee on China, among others, according to a copy of the invite list obtained by CNN.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency also reported on Monday that Tsai will meet with McCarthy, citing the island’s presidential office.

The meeting had long been expected and is all but guaranteed to stir up tension in the relationship between the United States and China, which became even more tense after a Chinese spy balloon flew over North America and was Then it was shot down by US fighter jets in February.

CNN reported previously That Tsai is visiting Central America on a diplomatic mission that includes a stop in the United States. China pledged “to fight firmly” Should hold a meeting between Tsai and McCarthy.

The ruling Communist Party in China Claims Self-governing island democracy as part of its territory Although not controlled.

Under the “One China” policy, The United States recognizes China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never formally recognized Beijing’s claim to the island. The Chinese leadership has refused to be excluded Use of military force to put the island under Beijing’s control.

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The White House refuses to say whether it supports the planned meeting between McCarthy and the president of Taiwan.

“I would like to refer you to the Speaker’s office and to President Tsai’s office for any details on a possible meeting,” said Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton, in response to a question from CNN aboard Air Force One on Monday.

After arriving in New York City last week, Tsai He said that Taiwan’s relationship with the United States has “never been closer”.

“We know we are stronger when we stand together in solidarity with fellow democracies. Taiwan cannot be isolated and we do not take friendship for granted,” Tsai said at a banquet with members of the Taiwanese-American community, according to CNN. Taiwanese company SET TV.

Taiwan’s presidential office has so far refused to confirm CNN Tsai’s possible meetings in the United States.

Last week, Chinese Chargé d’Affaires Xu Xuyuan told reporters that Tsai’s presence in the United States could lead to “dangerous” confrontation In the relations between the United States and China and have a “severe impact” on relations between them.

McCarthy’s predecessor, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan last year before her term as president ended, marking the first time The Speaker of the US House of Representatives visited Taiwan in the past 25 years. Pelosi said during her trip that the purpose of the visit was to “make clear” that the United States “will not give up” on the democratically governed island.

That visit met strong resistance from China, along with Beijing responds Through intensive military exercises around the island.

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This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Betsy Cline contributed to this report.