China says Taiwan President, US House Speaker meeting will ‘further damage’ ties

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An upcoming meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will “further damage” relations between Beijing and Washington, China’s consulate in Los Angeles said Monday.

The Wednesday meeting, set to take place in California, will “greatly hurt the national feelings of 1.4 billion Chinese people” and undermine “the political foundation of China-US relations,” a consulate spokesperson said in a statement.

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“Speaker McCarthy is ignoring the broad support of the international community for the One-China principle, ignoring the lessons that should have been drawn from previous mistakes,” the consulate said.

The statement was referring to Beijing’s policy that no country may maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan.

“There is no doubt that he will make the same mistake again, further damage China-US relations, but it will only strengthen the strong will and determination of the Chinese people” to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan, they added.

China claims the democratic island as part of its territory to be retaken one day.

McCarthy confirmed Monday that he would meet the Taiwanese President, defying warnings from China that he was “playing with fire.”

Tsai plans to stop over in the United States on her return from Central America, where she has met the leaders of Guatemala and Belize.

McCarthy had originally planned to follow the example of his Democratic predecessor as speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who visited Taiwan last August.

That visit prompted China to conduct its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan.

McCarthy’s decision to meet Tsai in the United States was viewed as a compromise that would underscore support for Taiwan but avoid further inflaming tensions with China.

But the Los Angeles consulate said Monday that any meeting would “contribute nothing to regional peace, security and stability.”

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