The United States sees no reason for China to overreact to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's transits of the US, US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Wednesday (local time), adding that the transits are consistent with the longstanding policy of Washington.
The statement of Vedant Patel comes after the Chinese spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said that China firmly opposes Tsai Ing-wen's planned "transit" visit to the US to meet US officials and will take resolute countermeasures in such an event, CGTN reported. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday embarked on a 10-day visit to Central America, which will include transit in the US, CNN reported.
Responding to a question regarding China announcing that there would be countermeasures if Taiwan President meets US House Speaker, Vedant Patel said, "I would reiterate what I said at the top, that transits of the United States are based on longstanding US practice consistent with our unofficial nature of relations with Taiwan.
"There is no reason to take countermeasures. There's no reason for Beijing to turn this transit, which is consistent with longstanding US policy, into something it's not or to overreact. As I said previously, we oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. We don't support Taiwan's independence, and we continue to expect that cross-strait differences be resolved through peaceful means," he further added.
In his opening remarks at the press briefing, Vedant Patel said that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will transit through New York over the next few days en route to Central America. He said that Taiwan also confirmed that Tsai will transit through the US on her way back to Taiwan via Los Angeles next week.
"Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will transit through New York over the next few days en route to Central America. Taiwan has also confirmed President Tsai will again transit through the United States on her return to Taiwan next week via Los Angeles," Vedant Patel said.
He further said, "Transits by high-level Taiwan authorities are not visits. They are private and unofficial, and they are not new. Every Taiwan president has transited the United States. President Tsai has transited the US six times since taking office in 2016. This will be her seventh transit."
Vedant Patel stressed that these transits have been consistent with longstanding US practice and added that Washington's "one-China" policy remains unchanged. He said that US approach to Taiwan and transits by its senior authorities have remained consistent and have longstanding "one China policy" which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three US-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.
"These transits have always been consistent with longstanding US practice, consistent with the unofficial nature of our relations with Taiwan, and consistent with the US "one China" policy, which remains unchanged.
In the press briefing, Patel said, "The US opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and we do not support Taiwan independence, and we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means."
Zhu Fenglian's remarks came in response to reports that the Taiwan President planned stopovers in the US and is expected to meet US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Zhu termed it another provocation that seriously violates the one-China principle if Tsai contacts McCarthy, CGTN reported.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning in a press conference on Wednesday said, "China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region. We firmly oppose any visit by the leader of the Taiwan authorities to the US in any name or under whatever pretext."
According to the statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning further said, "We firmly oppose the US' having any form of contact with the Taiwan authorities, which violates the one-China principle. China has repeatedly protested to the US side on Tsai's so-called stopover in the US."
Last year, China fired multiple missiles and launched military drills around Taiwan after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island. Her visit also strained the bilateral ties between US and China. (ANI)