Kevin McCarthy Says US Will Honor Obligations' To China

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen In California.

08:16 AM WAT, Thu April 06, 2023

China has launched military drills in response to a much-anticipated meeting between Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

They met in California on Wednesday, a week after President Tsai was feted in New York with a leadership award.

Ms Tsai hailed their "strong and unique partnership", and Mr McCarthy said that arms sales to Taiwan must continue.

Beijing, in turn, has vowed a "resolute response" and sent warships into the waters around the self-governed island.

Taiwan, it appears, is caught in the middle of a dangerous love triangle.

The timing of Ms Tsai's visit is hardly a coincidence. In the US there is deep and growing hostility to China. And this is driving ever more open displays of support for Taiwan, with Democrats and Republicans competing to out-do each other.

Chinese missiles flew over the island as Beijing made blood-curdling threats. In capitals around the region governments began talking seriously about the timetable for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Despite that, as soon as he was elected house speaker this January, Mr McCarthy, a Republican, declared his intention to follow Ms Pelosi's example. But President Tsai decided that was not a good idea, Prof Stanton says.

"I think it was quite clear that Kevin McCarthy wanted to pull a Pelosi," he says. "But Tsai Ing-wen said, 'no thank you, how about we have tea together in California instead'."