- Taiwan says it will not tolerate “repeated provocations” by China
- China warns US not to cross red line on Taiwan
- The President of Taiwan and the Speaker of the US Parliament are planning to meet in the US
TAIPEI/BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) – Taiwan will not tolerate “repeated provocations” by China, the island’s defense minister said on Tuesday, adding that China’s foreign minister said Taiwan was the “first red line.” American relations.
Tensions over democratically-ruled Taiwan, which China considers its own territory, have increased Beijing’s diplomatic and military pressure over the past three years to force Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty.
China held military exercises near Taiwan in August to protest a visit to Taipei by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen plans to meet current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the US in the coming weeks, two sources told Reuters.
Speaking to reporters in parliament, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said he was not aware of a planned meeting between Tsai and McCarthy.
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“The Chinese Communists use any excuse to send in troops,” Chiu said. “But we’re not going to say, ‘Bring it on,’ we’re going to take a calm and rational approach.”
He added that although he hoped this would not happen, Taiwan’s military was ready to fight.
“If the Chinese Communists move again, the job of the armed forces is to fight back,” said Chiu. “We will not allow repeated provocations against us. It is unacceptable.”
Taiwan’s government has not announced Tsai’s visit to the United States, and she has previously made stops in Latin America and the Caribbean en route to countries that maintain formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Taking questions from lawmakers, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said it was “inappropriate” to talk about foreign travel arrangements for the president “before there are specific plans.”
McCarthy also did not confirm the meeting with Tsai.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said it was “ridiculous” for US officials to say Taiwan was not China’s internal matter.
“The Taiwan issue is the core of China’s core interests, the foundation of the political foundation of Sino-US relations, and the first red line that should not be crossed in Sino-US relations,” he said in an annual speech on China. Parliamentary Assembly.
“The United States has an irrevocable responsibility for the cause of the Taiwan question.”
China will continue to work for “peaceful reunification” but reserves the right to take all necessary measures, Qin said.
“No one should underestimate the steadfast determination and great capacity of the Chinese government and people to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Taiwan’s government fiercely denies China’s territorial claims, although it has repeatedly offered talks with Beijing, and says only the people of Taiwan can decide their future.
A source told Reuters that if the US meeting goes ahead – probably in April – it would not necessarily rule out McCarthy coming to Taiwan in the future.
Four other sources — including U.S. officials and people with knowledge of the thinking of the U.S. and Taiwan administrations — said both sides are deeply concerned that McCarthy’s future visit could sharply escalate tensions across the Taiwan Strait. own presidential election early next year.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Ryan Wu; Editing by Stephen Coates
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