Republican McCarthy, the third-most-senior U.S. leader after the president and vice president, will host a meeting in California on Wednesday with Tsai, during a sensitive stopover in the United States that has prompted Chinese threats of retaliation.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, staged war games around the island last August after then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, visited the capital, Taipei.
Tsai will make what is formally called a “transit” in Los Angeles on her way back to Taipei after a trip to Central America. The United States says such stopovers are common practice and there is no need for China to overreact.
But China’s consulate in Los Angeles said it was “false” to claim it as a transit, adding that Tsai was engaging in official exchanges to “put on a political show”.
No matter in what capacity McCarthy meets Tsai, the gesture would greatly harm the feelings of the Chinese people, send a serious wrong signal to Taiwan separatist forces, and affect the political foundation of Sino-U.S. ties, it said in a statement.
“It is not conducive to regional peace, security nor stability, and is not in the common interests of the people of China and the United States,” the consulate added.
McCarthy is ignoring the lessons from the mistakes of his predecessor, it said, in a veiled reference to Pelosi’s Taipei visit, and is insisting on playing the “Taiwan card”.
“He will undoubtedly repeat disastrous past mistakes and further damage Sino-U.S. relations. It will only strengthen the Chinese people’s strong will and determination to share a common enemy and support national unity.”