Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen plans to meet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the United States.
According to a minister, Tsai will stop off in Los Angeles and New York during a trip to Central America later this year. The presidential office claimed “transit arrangements” had been in place for a while without directly mentioning the United States.
Beijing, on the other hand, followed up with a warning, telling the U.S. to not question what they called China’s ability to “safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The self-governed island has been front and center in US-China relations. Beijing has a history of denouncing any Western diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China’s new foreign minister said Taiwan is “the first red line that must not be crossed” by Washington.
China also staged military exercises around Taiwan in August following a visit to Taipei by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
All of Tsai’s predecessors have stopped off in the United States as a way to maintain relations without infuriating China.
The U.S. doesn’t have an official diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. For years, Washington has called itself neutral on the China-Taiwan geopolitical disputes, while maintaining peace within the region. Taiwan is considered a crucial U.S. ally in the Indo-Pacific.