Taiwan’s peace and democracy are dealing with “unprecedented challenges”, its president has mentioned, on a go to to the US which is able to anger China.
Tsai Ing-wen has held talks with each Democrat and Republican congressional leaders on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, in opposition to a backdrop of rising tensions with Beijing, which claims the island nation as its personal.
Standing alongside President Tsai at a information convention, the Speaker of the Home of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, mentioned: “I imagine our bond is stronger now than at any time or level in my lifetime. And naturally, President Tsai is a superb champion of that bond.”
Republican Mr McCarthy can be probably the most senior US determine to satisfy a Taiwanese chief on American soil since 1979 – and the talks got here regardless of threats of retaliation from Beijing.
China sees any interplay between US and Taiwanese officers as a problem to its declare to the island, and has reacted to earlier conferences with exhibits of power and by chopping again on dialogue with America.
President Tsai mentioned on Wednesday the “unwavering help” from the US reassures “the individuals of Taiwan that we’re not remoted, and we’re not alone”.
However she additionally cautioned: “The peace now we have maintained and the democracy which now we have labored laborious to construct are dealing with unprecedented challenges.
“We discover ourselves in a world the place democracy is below risk.”
She mentioned she reiterated to US congressional leaders her nation’s dedication to “defending the peaceable establishment”.
She additionally mentioned that to “protect peace we should be sturdy, and we’re stronger collectively”, including: “Taiwan was grateful to have the US by its facet.”
The 2 politicians stood in an atrium in entrance of a airplane that Ronald Reagan flew on as president within the Nineteen Eighties.
Mr McCarthy mentioned: “The friendship between the individuals of Taiwan and America is a matter of profound significance to the free world. And it’s important to keep up financial freedom, peace and regional stability.”
He mentioned: “We’ll honour our obligations and reiterate our dedication to our shared values behind which all People are united.”
Indignant Chinese language officers have pledged a pointy however unspecified response to the assembly with Mr McCarthy.
However the White Home has mentioned there may be nothing new or provocative about Ms Tsai’s go to.
“There is no cause for the Chinese language to overreact in any approach,” mentioned Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby.
The Chinese language responded to a go to by then Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August by finishing up its largest live-fire drills in a long time, together with firing a missile over the island.