30th March 2023 – (New York) Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York City on 29th March, where she was greeted by overseas Taiwanese supporters outside her hotel. The demonstrators carried Taiwanese and American flags, held placards with welcome slogans and chanted “Welcome President Tsai” and “Long live the Republic of China.” However, some groups also gathered nearby to protest Tsai’s transit through the U.S.. They shouted slogans against her and her political maneuvering with U.S. politicians.
Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York City at 3pm Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, after departing from Taipei earlier that day. Upon her arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, she was greeted by Laura Rosenberger, the new chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, and Taiwan’s envoy to the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim, who boarded her aircraft to welcome her and her delegation. Afterward, Tsai and her entourage travelled to the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in midtown Manhattan, arriving at 4pm.
Tsai’s visit to the U.S. is part of her “Democratic Partnership for Common Prosperity Journey,” during which she will visit Central America. But her transit through the U.S. and her political meetings with high-level U.S. officials, including House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have caused concerns for Beijing, which has repeatedly warned Washington against making such stopover arrangements for Taiwan officials. The U.S. government claims that such visits by Taiwan officials are not uncommon and have been scheduled as “non-official, personal trips.”
However, the fact that Tsai’s visit involves high-level US officials and politicians, particularly her potential meeting with the House Speaker, has caused tension in Sino-US ties and heightened cross-Straits tensions. Beijing has been closely monitoring Tsai’s transit through the U.S. and has warned against any political turbulence caused by her visit.
The refusal of Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party to recognise the 1992 Consensus has led to increased tensions and caused turbulence across the Taiwan Straits. Taiwan’s participation in international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, has been affected, and the island has lost some of its diplomatic allies.
While the vast majority of people on both sides of the Straits desire peace and stability, some US.S.politicians have been using the “Taiwan card” to shake the tree that is China. Tsai’s transit through the U.S., with her complex political motives, only adds to the complications.
Beijing has the determination and capability to prevent “Taiwan independence” and safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any reckless move toward seeking “Taiwan independence” by the island authorities will be met with strong countermeasures.