The announcement that Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai will stop over in the United States on his way to Honduras next week made the Chinese regime nervous, according to Reuters.
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang announced on Thursday, Jan. 20, the scheduled stopover of the Taiwanese Vice President in Los Angeles and San Francisco before visiting the Central American ally to attend the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro.
The planned itinerary would begin with Chang’s departure from Taiwan on Jan. 25 and after arriving in Los Angeles where he will stay one night, he will board a flight to Honduras on January 27. On his return, Lai will stop in San Francisco for one night on Jan. 29 and then return to Taiwan on the night of Jan. 30, according to Taiwan News.
Taiwan’s vice president is expected to hold several virtual meetings with US lawmakers, although names have not been confirmed.
Although the U.S. assured that the visit will not be of an official but private nature, the planned trip sparked anger and complaint from the Chinese Communist Party, which urged the Biden administration not to send the wrong message to the island’s pro-independence forces.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Beijing strongly opposed any form of official exchange between the United States and Taiwan. “Lai will play a trick to transit in the US,” the ‘Chinese regime’s propaganda media said, calling it a “despicable political maneuvering.”
The Chinese Communist regime considers Taiwan to be part of mainland China and has repeatedly referred to the island as the most sensitive issue between China and the United States.
Tensions between the United States and the Chinese regime have escalated as the regime has increased military pressure on Taiwan.
The White House has stated that “the United States remains committed to the ‘one-China policy’, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,” and that it “strongly opposes” any moves that would alter the “status quo” in the region or “undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
“Since the inauguration, the Biden administration has repeatedly demonstrated its firm support for Taiwan with concrete actions,” the presidential office said. “We believe the two sides will continue to stably deepen Taiwan-U.S. relations on all fronts,” Taiwan News reported.
Lai’s trip to Honduras is aimed at deepening economic and diplomatic ties, a fact that is encouraged by the US as it is concerned about Chinese influence in the region.
But China continues to exert pressure to alienate Taiwan’s current 14 allies. In fact, on the one hand, last month it reestablished ties with Nicaragua, and on the other hand, the new president of Honduras hinted at the possibility of swapping Taiwan for Beijing.