The United States must redouble its efforts to support Taiwan in the face of new threats from China’s communist regime, according to one congressman.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the United States and Taiwan need to continue their mutual support in the face of unwarranted aggression from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
“The U.S. and Taiwan have enjoyed robust relations for decades, and the U.S. has always made clear that any unilateral action to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait is of grave concern,” McCaul said on March 29 in an email to The Epoch Times.
McCaul’s comments follow new threats from the CCP over a proposed meeting next week of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said the proposed visit was a “provocation” that “destroys peace.” Moreover, she said the CCP would “resolutely hit back” at Taiwan and the United States if the meeting went forward.
U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said the transit was in line with longstanding policy and the history of trilateral relations between the United States, China, and Taiwan.
“It is Taiwan’s decision to make these transits based on their own travel,” Kirby said. “Transits are not visits, they are private and they are unofficial.”
“I would also remind everyone that this is not new. Every Taiwan president has transited the United States.”
Kirby said Tsai had transited the United States six times since 2016 without incident. The United States and China should continue to peacefully manage the situation as such, he added.
“The United States and China have differences when it comes to Taiwan, but we have managed those differences for more than 40 years,” Kirby said.
“There’s absolutely no reason for Beijing to act differently in this regard.”
Deputy spokesperson for the State Department, Vedant Patel, echoed this position, saying there was no reason for China to “overreact” to Tsai’s visit, given that she has transited the United States six times since taking office.
The CCP claims that Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be united with the mainland by any means necessary, including military force. CCP leadership has repeatedly threatened war over the issue.
Taiwan has never been controlled by the CCP, however, and boasts a thriving market economy and independent democratic government.
For its part, the United States formally recognizes, but does not endorse, China’s stance on Taiwan. The United States also maintains legal obligations to provide Taiwan the weapons necessary for its self defense, including from aggression by communist China.
Though the United States and Taiwan do not share formal diplomatic relations, the two powers have pursued deep commercial and cultural ties over the course of decades.
Speaking to reporters on March 29, Tsai vowed that she would not cower before the CCP’s threats, and would continue to engage with the rest of the world as a free and democratic society.
“External pressure will not hinder our determination to go to the world,” Tsai said. “We are calm and confident, will neither yield nor provoke.
“Taiwan will firmly walk on the road of freedom and democracy and go into the world. Although this road is rough, Taiwan is not alone.”