China’s foreign ministry issued a strong condemnation on Sunday in response to Taiwan’s Vice President and presidential candidate, William Lai, passing through the United States during his journey to Paraguay. China branded Lai as a “troublemaker through and through” for his transit through New York.
Lai’s arrival in New York on Saturday marked a stopover on his way to Paraguay, where he is scheduled to attend the inauguration of Paraguayan President Santiago Pena in August. Paraguay stands as Taiwan’s sole diplomatic Ally in South America.
In a statement posted on X (previously known as Twitter), Lai expressed his contentment upon arriving in New York, referring to the city as an “icon of liberty, democracy, and opportunities.”
Prior to Lai’s arrival, US officials indicated that they anticipated the transit to occur without any significant incidents. The US administration affirmed that such transits of senior officials are unofficial and consistent with the US’s One China policy, describing such occurrences as relatively routine.
This isn’t Lai’s first transit through the US; he last passed through in January 2022.
China’s ruling Communist Party asserts Taiwan as an integral part of its territory, despite never having exercised control over it. China has also maintained its stance of not ruling out the use of force to bring the self-governing island under its control.
In swift response to Lai’s transit, China’s foreign ministry asserted its strong opposition to any official interactions between the US and Taiwan, particularly any engagements with “Taiwan independence” advocates. China deplored and vehemently criticized the US decision to arrange the transit, branding Lai a “troublemaker” due to his resolute stance on “Taiwan independence.”
Furthermore, China emphasized that Taiwan constitutes a core interest and called upon the US to adhere to the one-China principle. China declared its vigilant monitoring of the situation and underscored its unwavering commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Trips undertaken by Taiwan’s officials to the US are referred to as “transits” due to the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the US and the Taiwanese government. These stopovers are part of unofficial journeys en route to other destinations.