Taiwan Minister Unaware Of President's US Plan

Amid reports that President Tsai Ing Wen is mulling meeting U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Washington, Taiwan’s defense minister said he was unaware of the plan. 

What Happened: Minister Chiu Kuo Cheng, who made the comments on the sidelines of a parliament session, said he was not aware that the Taiwanese president would meet McCarthy in the U.S.

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Reuters, citing two sources, reported that McCarthy plans to meet Taiwan’s President in the coming weeks — a move that could replace the new Speaker’s anticipated but sensitive trip to the self-governed island where China claims sovereignty. 

The report added that President Tsai had been invited to speak at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library during a transit through California on a planned visit to Central America, where she is likely to meet McCarthy. 

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, McCarthy also declined to answer whether a visit to Taiwan was on the cards after last year then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei angered Beijing.

McCarthy said he would announce any travel plans when he had them.

According to four other sources, both the U.S. and Taiwan sides were deeply uneasy that a future visit by McCarthy would severely increase tensions across the Strait. 

Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington also said it had “no information to share.” 

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“In general terms, arrangements for President Tsai’s visits to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and transits through the United States are carried out in line with the usual practice,” it said. 

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