US House Speaker McCarthy expected to visit Taiwan

TEHRAN, Jan. 25 (MNA) – The newly-elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy plans to travel to Chinese Taipei, media sources reported.

The US Defence Department is preparing for House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Taiwan later this year, Punchbowl News reported on Monday, citing an official directly involved, according to Sout China Morning Post.

If McCarthy does go on to travel to Taipei, it would be the second trip to the self-ruled island by a US House speaker in less than a year, sparking almost back-to-back escalation with China, which has sovereignty over Taipei.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August last year, bypassing Beijing diplomatically and establishing direct contact with Taipei to plan the trip.

That angered China, which issued statements critical of Pelosi and the US and staged large military exercises in waters near the island to assert its sovereignty.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait reached levels not seen in three decades with live-fire drills in several areas around the island.

China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the “One China” policy, virtually all world countries — including the US — recognize that sovereignty, meaning they are required by diplomatic protocol to refrain from establishing direct diplomatic contact with the self-proclaimed government in Taipei.

In violation of its own stated policy, however, Washington has long courted Taipei, and its secessionist president Tsai Ing-wen, in part to unnerve Beijing.

MNA/PR

News Code 196622

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