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'China deliberately raises tensions, but Taiwan responds calmly': Tsai in New York

Taiwan leader is set to meet US House Speaker next week amid China's warning

Taiwan/US Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves as she arrives at a hotel, in New York | AP

During the stopover on her way to Central America, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen hailed the relations between both states. While speaking at an event in New York, Tsai said that the relationship between Washington and Taipei was “closer than ever”.

“We have demonstrated a firm will and resolve to defend ourselves that we are capable of managing risks with calm and composure and that we have the ability to maintain regional peace and stability,” Tsai was quoted by Al Jazeera.

While speaking at the event she also said that Taiwan has remained calm in the face of China "deliberately" raising tensions, reported Reuters.

Tsai had arrived in New York on Wednesday on her way to Central America. Amid China's warnings, she is expected to meet US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on her way back to Taipei next week.

China had warned the US that the visit could lead to a "serious confrontation" in US-China relations.

Reportedly, since Washington normalised ties with Beijing in 1979, the US relations with China is quite tense.

Beijing says Taiwan belongs to "one China" and as a Chinese province, has no right to state-to-state ties and Taiwan disputes this, reported Reuters.

On her first US stopover since 2019, Tsai told an event held by the Hudson Institute think tank that the fault for raising tensions lay with China, according to excerpts of her comments reported by Taiwan's official Central News Agency.

"China deliberately raises tensions, but Taiwan always responds cautiously and calmly, so that the world can see that Taiwan is the responsible party in cross-Strait relations," the agency cited her saying.

"The people of Taiwan look forward to peace, but history tells us that the best way to avoid war is to make ourselves stronger," Tsai said at the event.

Meanwhile, the White House on Wednesday urged China not to use Tsai's stopover in the US as a pretext to increase aggressive activity against Taiwan.

"I think we have all seen them react in a rhetorical way, but we've seen no indication that there's been any other type of reaction," White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

However, the meeting with McCarthy would be a first between the Taiwanese leader and a US House Speaker in the US.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian in Beijing said that if Tsai met with McCarthy, China would "definitely take measures to resolutely fight back."

Xu Xueyuan, charge d'affaires at China's Washington Embassy said that the meeting "could lead to another serious confrontation in the China-US relationship," reported Reuters.

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