Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen flags China threat on way to New York
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen left for the United States today on a trip that has angered Beijing, warning democracy must be defended and the island faced threats from "overseas forces,'' in a veiled reference to China, Reuters reports.
China, which claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province, has called on the United States not to allow Tsai to transit there on her overseas tour. She is spending four nights in the United States in total, two on the way there and two on the way back on a visit to four Caribbean allies.
Tsai will go to New York on her way there, and then is expected to stop in Denver on the way back.
Tsai's time in the United States will be unusually long, as normally she spends just a night at a time on transit stops.
The U.S. State Department has said there had been no change in the U.S. "one-China" policy, under which Washington officially recognises Beijing and not Taipei, while assisting Taiwan.
Speaking at Taipei's main international airport at Taoyuan, Tsai said she would share the values of freedom and transparency with Taiwan's allies, and she was looking forward to finding more international space for Taiwan.
"Our democracy has not come easily, and is now facing threats and infiltration from overseas forces," Tsai said, without naming any such force. "These challenges are also common challenges faced by democracies all over the world. We will work with countries with similar ideas to ensure the stability of the democratic system."
Tsai, who faces re-election in January, has repeatedly called for international support to defend Taiwan's democracy in the face of Chinese threats.