Monday, October 2

Despite Chinese threats, New York City stops at Lai Ching-te in Taiwan.

Lai made an announcement on Twitter’s X platform, saying he would be arriving in New York on Saturday evening.

“Heaveneously, I am thrilled to have arrived at the #BigApple, a symbol of freedom, democracy, and opportunities,” he wrote. He also shared posing with Bi-Khim Hsiao, the head of Taiwan’s unofficial embassy in the U.S., as well as Ingrid Larson, America’ll de facto ambassade in Taiwan. “We can’t wait to see friends there…Though I attend transit programs in New York.”

The Chinese foreign ministry issued a strongly worded statement condemning Lai’s stop shortly after the plane touched down.

The U.S. decision to arrange a ‘stopover’ for Lai Ching-te has been met with strong criticism and apology from China, according to spokesman Sung Sun Tzu.

Lai’s trip to New York will only last for about a day, as he was expected to leave on Sunday to attend the inauguration of Paraguay’S new president, Santiago Pea Palacios.

On his way back to Taiwan, Lai will have the opportunity to do that once more when he passes through San Francisco for an overnight stop on Aug. 15.

Lai made a brief appearance in New York on Saturday before leaving Taiwan, but she also discussed the importance of engaging with different leaders.

Lai stated that the trip would involve a chance to have authentic conversations with global leaders and representatives from countries of the same nationality. He further highlighted Taiwan’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights, its active involvement in international affairs, as well as its long-standing efforts to maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to a release from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China has been accused of using paid outlets in Paraguay to spread negative reports about the visit, prompting the arrival of the Taiwanese vice president in South America.

During a previous U.S. transit stop in January 2022, Lai held video meetings with 17 Ulysses lawmakers from his hotel in Los Angeles. Beijing responded by lodging retaliatory letters with the U.” which included demands that the Biden administration “halt the illegal acts of official communication with Taiwan.” In response, China conducted military exercises around the island for three days, and Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen visited Taiwan earlier this year with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and several other members of Congress.

A senior administration official cautioned that Vice President Lai’s passage for brazen coercion or other provocative actions should not be used as a pretext by Beijing, and also against using it to interfere in Taiwan’ election.

The vice president’s journey coincides with a time when American public opinion towards China has experienced reverberating in recent years, and some legislators have used it as opportune moment to assert that the United States must take action against China. Anti-China sentiments among candidates have also shifted foreign policy, with anti-china positions being particularly prominent during the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Lai’s reputation as the primary contender to replace Tsai in the self-ruling island’ll make him a liability for Beijing. He has demonstrated his support for Taiwan’ independence and sovereignty in establishing an independent island in January.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson stated that Lai Ching-te remains steadfast in his commitment to Taiwan’s independence and is not willing to give up.

Lai’s support for independence is based on his electoral market share, as per Douglas Paal, the former ambassador to Taiwan.

Lai stated that if Taiwan’s elected leaders win an election, they should be welcomed to the White House, which would represent a significant shift in relations with the U.S. since 1979 and likewise retaliate to Beijing.

The Chinese have the liberty to play their game, according to Daniel Russel, a former senior Asia hand in the Obama administration. This approach is not radical or innovative, as it has been visited by all previous Taiwanese presidential candidates.

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