China Condemns Taiwan Vice-President’s Visit To US, William Lai Says He Won’t Back Down

William Lai Visits US For Stopover, China Denounces Move

Following a trip by Taiwan’s vice-president William Lai to the United States (US), China has threatened “resolute and vigorous measures”.

The visit, billed officially as a transit towards Paraguay, has angered China, who call Lai a “troublemaker through and through”.

Lai has previously described himself as a “practical worker for Taiwan independence”.

In response, Lai said he will not back down from their threats.

China condemns William Lai visit to US

Lai landed in New York on Saturday (12 Aug), and announced his arrival on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He said the visit is a stopover en-route to Paraguay, which maintains official diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Source: @ChingteLai on X

“Looking forward to seeing friends & attending transit programs in #NewYork,” he posted.

Soon after Lai arrived, China’s foreign ministry issued a strongly-worded statement.

“China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region,” according to a foreign ministry spokesperson.

They said they firmly oppose visits by supposed Taiwan independence separatists to the US.

China said it deplores and strongly condemns the US decision to arrange the “stopover”, claiming the US and Taiwan arranged for Lai to engage in political activities under the pretext of a stopover.

“The Taiwan question is the core of the core interests of China, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” the spokesperson further added.

Urging the US to abide by the one-China policy, it asked that it stop official interactions with Taiwan.

China is closely following the developments of the situation and will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Lai says he won’t back down from threats

Both Taiwan and the US have called the stopovers routine.

Lai is due to have another stopover in San Francisco on his way back from Paraguay.

Addressing a supporters lunch in New York, he said that “if Taiwan is safe, the world is safe, if the Taiwan Strait is peaceful, then the world is peaceful”, Reuters reported.

No matter how great the threat of authoritarianism is to Taiwan, we absolutely will not be scared nor cower, we will uphold the values of democracy and freedom.

Lai also added that he is willing to talk to China to seek peace and stability.

However, he also promised to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty, saying on Taiwan’s people can decide their future.

“The Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China are not subordinate to each other,” he said, using Taiwan’s formal name.

China conducts military drills

On Monday (14 Aug), the Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army showed pictures on its WeChat account of troops practising storming a beach.

It said that forces had recently engaged in “high-intensity flight training”.

The move is regarded as being in response to Lai’s visit to the US by Taiwanese officials, Reuters reported.

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Featured image adapted from @ChingteLai on X.

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