In response to Beijing’s cautions on Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen’s upcoming travel to the US this week, the White House issued a warning on Wednesday, urging Beijing to refrain from any acts that might be seen as threatening Taiwan.
In order to travel to Central America for a formal diplomatic visit, the president of Taiwan will stop in New York and Los Angeles. The visit has not been classified as official, government travel, per the description of the planned trip.
John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday that this transit is consistent with their long-standing unofficial relationship with Taiwan. He further stated that it is up to Taiwan to decide which transits are necessary given their travel plans. The transits, he said, were personal and unofficial.
Tsai departed Taiwan that morning for New York before continuing on to California. Tsai will be visiting the US for the sixth time overall since she initially assumed office in 2016. Kirby emphasized that there had never previously been a problem connected to these transits and that Tsai had previously met with congressional representatives on these transits.
While in Los Angeles, Tsai is set to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif). Chinese officials have cautioned, meanwhile, that there will be consequences for these meetings. On Thursday, Tsai met with Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat.