According to China, Taiwan is “closely following” Vice President William Lai’s visit to the United States over the weekend and has announced “firm” measures.
“China is closely monitoring the developing situation and will take firm and vigorous measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released today.
Officially, Lai is making only one stop in the United States on his way to Paraguay, where he will attend the inauguration of President-elect Santiago Pena. However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said that Taiwan and the United States colluded to allow Lai’s political activities in the United States under the pretext of a “suspension.”
No friends in Beijing
Paraguay is the only country in South America that recognizes Taiwan as an independent country. China views the self-governing island as part of its territory, which it wants to rejoin the mainland — using military force if necessary.
Lai, 63, who has been DPP party leader since January and is running for president in 2024, is deeply unpopular with the Beijing leadership for his support for Taiwan independence. He said in January that the island “is a sovereign country and no longer has to declare its independence”.
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