Washington: Amid China warning the US of a “serious confrontation”, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York.
She arrived in the city on Wednesday, where she was greeted by competing crowds of protesters and supporters outside her hotel, reports the BBC.
The President’s stop in New York comes as part of her trip to Central America which will take her,to Guatemala and Belize this week.
Before returning to Taiwan through Los Angeles, she may meet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to media reports.
China however, has condemned any such meeting and said that if it goes ahead, it could lead to a “serious confrontation”.
Responding to her arrival in New York, China’s senior envoy in Washington accused the US of advocating for Taiwan’s independence by allowing Tsai to “make a splash” in their country.
“No matter (whether) it is Taiwan leaders coming to the United States or the US leaders visiting Taiwan, (it) could lead to another serious, serious, serious confrontation in the China-US relationship,” the BBC quoted Xu Xueyuan, China’s Charge d’Affaires, as saying at a press conference.
By allowing Tsai to visit, Washington “seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Xu said, adding: “We urge the US side not to repeat playing with fire on the Taiwan question.”
Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state, while China views it as a breakaway province that will eventually be reunited with mainland.
Last year, tensions between China, Taiwan and the US reached a new high after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew to Taipei to meet Tsai.
Beijing responded to Pelosi’s visit with a week of massive military drills in the waters around Taiwan.