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China Caution US House Speaker McCarthy Against Holding Conference with Taiwanese Leader

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China warned US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday against “repeating the disastrous mistakes of the past” by meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Beijing said the decision would not help regional peace and stability, but only help unite the Chinese people against a common enemy.

Republican McCarthy, the third-largest US leader after the president and vice president, is due to host a meeting in California on Wednesday with Tsai, during a sensitive stopover in the US that has prompted threats of retaliation from China.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, conducted war games around the island last August after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, visited the capital, Taipei.

Tsai will make what is officially called a “transit” in Los Angeles on her way back to Taipei after a trip to Central America. The United States says such stations are common practice and China need not overreact.

But the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles said it was “wrong” to claim it was a transit stop, adding that Tsai engaged in official exchanges to “make a political show”.

In a statement, she said that no matter in what capacity McCarthy meets Tsai, this gesture will greatly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, send a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces in Taiwan, and affect the political foundation of Sino-US relations.

“It is not conducive to regional peace, security and stability, nor is it in the common interests of the peoples of China and the United States,” the consulate added.

She said that McCarthy ignores lessons from his predecessor’s mistakes, in a veiled reference to Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, and insists on playing the “Taiwan card.”

“It will undoubtedly repeat the disastrous mistakes of the past and further damage China-US relations. This will only strengthen the Chinese people’s firm will and determination to share a common enemy and uphold national unity,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that China will closely follow the developments and resolutely and vigorously defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, without elaborating.

Chinese military activities

Although Taiwan reported no unusual Chinese movements in the lead-up to the meeting, the Chinese military continued its activities across the island.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense stated on Tuesday morning that in the past 24 hours it had detected nine Chinese military aircraft in the Air Defense Identification Zone, in an area between the southwestern coast of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the upper part of the South China Sea. .

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said, in a statement on Tuesday, that China had no right to file a complaint, because the People’s Republic of China had never ruled the island.

She added that China’s recent criticism of Tsai’s trip had “become increasingly ridiculous”.

“Even if the authoritarian government continues its expansion and tightens coercion, Taiwan will not back down,” the statement said.

In China, prominent commentator Hu Xijin wrote on his widely followed Twitter account “The Chinese mainland will definitely react, and make Tsai Ing-wen’s regime lose much more than it can gain from this meeting.”

“The US side is definitely not getting any real advantage either,” Hu, who expressed concerns about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year, wrote on his account on Weibo, a social media platform similar to Twitter in China.

He is the former editor-in-chief of the state-backed Chinese tabloid, the Global Times, which is known for its hardline nationalist stance.

Taiwan has lived with the threat of Chinese attack ever since the defeated Republic of China government fled to the island in 1949 after losing a civil war with Mao Zedong’s communists.

Life in Taiwan went on as usual, as shops, restaurants and tourist spots packed Taipei over a long weekend that ends on Wednesday.

“They will definitely get angry and there will be some procedures, but we are used to it,” said social worker Sunny Lai, 42.

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