December 10, 2023

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The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives hosts the President of Taiwan on Wednesday in California

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House Speaker will host a meeting in California on Wednesday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, part of a sensitive stopover in the United States that has prompted Chinese threats of retaliation, the office of U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said.

China, which claims Taiwan democratically governs Taiwan as its own territory, has repeatedly warned US officials not to meet with Tsai. It’s on its first US stopover since 2019, though Taiwanese presidents make such trips regularly.

“On Wednesday, April 5, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy will host a bipartisan meeting with the President of Taiwan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library,” his office said in a statement.

The announcement is a formal confirmation of what was a widely expected meeting.

It would be the first time between a Taiwanese leader and the speaker of the US House of Representatives on American soil, though it is seen as a potentially less provocative alternative to McCarthy’s visit to Taiwan, something he has said he hopes to do.

The White House urged China not to use Tsai’s “ordinary” pause in the United States as an excuse to increase aggressive activity against Taiwan.

“During transit operations across the United States, the president communicates with American friends, in line with previous precedent,” said Taiwan’s actual embassy in Washington, without elaborating when asked about the meeting.

(Reporting by Michael Martina) Editing by Doina Schiaco and Grant McCall

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