Authored by Savannah Hulsey Pointer via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
China retaliated against Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s meeting with Taiwan’s president this week by announcing sanctions against the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and other organizations, heightening tensions over the self-governed island that Beijing claims as part of its territory.
Amid Chinese threats, McCarthy met with President Tsai Ing-wen on April 5 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
McCarthy welcomed Tsai as a “great friend of America” during a high-level meeting on U.S. soil, risking China’s ire in a demonstration of U.S. support.
During her visit, Tsai accepted a leadership award from the Hudson Institute and spoke about Taiwan’s regional security challenges.
McCarthy joined an increasing number of foreign legislators who have met with Tsai to demonstrate their support for Taiwan in the face of Chinese intimidation.
“We will take resolute measures to punish the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and their actions, and resolutely safeguard our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement on April 6, according to an English translation.
U.S.-Chinese relations have reached their lowest point in decades due to disagreements over the status of Taiwan, which separated from China in 1949 following a civil war, as well as security, technology, and Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong and Muslim ethnic minorities.
The Chinese regime claims the democratic island as its own territory and has vowed to seize Taiwan, by force if necessary.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on April 7 that the Reagan Library and the Hudson Institute, a think tank in Washington, were sanctioned for “providing a platform and facilitation to Taiwan separatist activities.” It stated that Chinese institutions were prohibited from cooperating with or contacting them.
Amid escalating tensions between Taiwan’s self-governing democracy and China’s communist dictatorship, McCarthy urged Congress to expedite the delivery of military armaments to Taiwan.
During the Taiwanese official’s trip, McCarthy encouraged the United States and its allies to take a stand against China’s aggression with a clear and consistent unified message that promotes peace and protects democracy.
The House leader said it is crucial that congressional leaders speak with “one voice” so that China’s leaders understand “where we stand.”
“Don’t send a balloon over our air space. Don’t use authoritarian bully tactics,” McCarthy said. “It won’t go far.”
McCarthy was accompanied by a bipartisan delegation that uniformly emphasized Congress’ commitment to supporting Taiwan.
Alluding to Chinese threats, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chair of the House China Select Committee, said the bipartisan delegation intended to “send a simple message—and that is, we are not afraid.”
“We support our friends in Taiwan,” he said. “We’re going to keep saying that whenever we have the opportunity, and we’re going to turn those words into action … because Taiwan is a small, very bright candle burning at the edge of a vast authoritarian darkness.”
Brad Jones and The Associated Press contributed to this report.