Taiwan president plans ‘transit’ in Los Angeles, New York -government minister

Taiwan president plans ‘transit’ in Los Angeles, New York -government minister

TAIPEI, March 9 (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen plans to stop in Los Angeles and New York as part of a visit to Central America, a government minister said on Thursday, a sensitive itinerary that Tsai’s office -t has not yet confirmed it.

Tsai plans to meet with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the United States, according to sources, and McCarthy confirmed to US media this week that he would meet her this year.

China, which views Taiwan as its territory, said on Wednesday it was “seriously concerned” by Tsai’s “transit” plans and had asked Washington for clarification.

Taiwanese presidents, including Tsai, have a history of traveling through the US en route to other countries, usually for a day or two, although the US government has generally avoided meetings with senior Taiwanese officials in Washington.

Asked by a lawmaker in parliament about Tsai’s arrangements to meet overseas Taiwanese while she is abroad, Foreign Community Affairs Council Minister Hsu Chia-ching said it had been confirmed that one of these events it would take place in New York.

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There would be four such meetings with Taiwanese overseas, including the Central American countries Tsai would visit, Hsu said, answering “yes” when Guatemala and Belize, both of which have diplomatic ties to Taiwan, were mentioned.

“On the west coast it’s most likely Los Angeles, but Los Angeles is very big, so we don’t know which area,” Hsu said, adding that she would be part of the delegation going on the trip. .

Taiwan’s presidential office declined to confirm any travel arrangements.

“We are still planning the president’s schedule. Once the details are finalized, we will make them public,” he said in response to a question from Reuters.

On Wednesday, the president’s office said the “transit arrangements” had been in place for many years, though it did not directly name the United States.

The trip is likely to take place next month, the sources told Reuters.

Taiwan is a constant source of friction between Beijing and Washington. China staged military exercises around Taiwan in August after a visit to Taipei by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Taiwan’s government says the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and thus has no right to claim it, and that only its 23 million residents can decide their future.

Reporting by Roger Tung and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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