The Chinese government has warned Washington against a visit and talks by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the United States. "China is very concerned about the information in question," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told the press in Beijing about the relevant media reports.
China contacted the United States and asked for clarification. Beijing rejects "any form of official contact between the United States and Taiwan." Taiwan is "part of the sacred territory of the People's Republic".
Report: Tsai plans stopover in California
According to a report by the Financial Times, Tsai plans to make a stopover in California in April en route to diplomatic partners in Central America, as she did in 2018 and 2019. She wanted to meet the new Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. The top politician had indicated that he wanted to visit Taiwan this year. But Tsai, worried about an escalation with China, persuaded him to meet her in California.
The visit of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August last year led to increased tensions with China. The visit of America's number three was the highest in a quarter century. China responded with missile tests and military maneuvers, during which a naval and air blockade and a conquest of Taiwan were practiced.
Speech at Cornell University?
Other reports have suggested that Tsai might give a speech at Cornell University in California. This brought back memories of her early predecessor, Lee Teng-hui, who gave a speech at the university in 1995 highlighting the differences between Taiwan and China. The appearance was one of the reasons for a serious crisis with China. Both politicians once studied at the university.
Taiwan's government declined to confirm the reports. "We don't have a firm plan yet."
China views Taiwan as part of the People's Republic and ultimately threatens conquest if "reunification" cannot be achieved otherwise. However, Taiwan was never part of the communist People's Republic founded in 1949 and has long considered itself independent.