April 6, 2023
BEIJING/WASHINGTON – After an eight-hour drive from Mexico, Willy Liu arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday and joined a crowd of protesters in front of a hotel where Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Taiwan region, was expected to stay.
Holding a sign saying “We want peace, but Tsai does not”, Liu told China Daily that he was worried that Tsai’s stopover in the city and her reported meeting with United States officials would damage relations across the Taiwan Straits as well as China-US ties.
“We don’t want to see peace and stability being damaged, so we must strongly oppose her visit,” said Liu.
Tsai’s “transit” through New York City and Los Angeles on a 10-day trip to and from Central American countries has prompted wide opposition and protest. When she arrived in New York last week, more than 700 people participated in a series of protests.
Tuesday’s protest in Los Angeles was organized by several local Chinese American groups committed to promoting the peaceful reunification of China. They waved Chinese and US flags, chanted slogans like “one China” and “oppose ‘Taiwan independence'”, and held signs saying “There is only one China in the world”, “‘Taiwan independence’ is a dead end” and “Tsai Ing-wen is a troublemaker of cross-Straits relations”.
Tao Ouyang, president of the China Unity Association of Los Angeles, one of the protest’s organizers, said, “Tsai Ing-wen’s ‘transit’ trip to the US undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and creates new troubles for Sino-US relations.”
He said Tsai’s trip has caused outrage internationally. “We have seen that overseas Chinese communities, reunification activists and anti-war organizations around the world have issued statements and organized protests to express their strong opposition,” he told China Daily.
He said reunification is an inevitable requirement for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
“Reunification is the aspiration of all the Chinese people and the trend of the times,” Ouyang said. However, since Tsai came into power, she has consistently pursued “Taiwan independence”, he added.Most of the protesters came from Los Angeles, but many came from other parts of the country, including a group of 40 from San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, to show their support.
Fred Zou, an immigrant from Taiwan who drove from the San Francisco Bay Area to attend Tuesday’s protest, said: “Tsai’s provocative actions put Taiwan people in danger, because the path to ‘Taiwan independence’ is the path to war. Tsai cannot put 23 million people’s lives at stake, and the majority of Taiwan people hope to see peace instead of wars.”
The reported meeting on Wednesday between Tsai and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was also criticized for damaging China-US relations and the interests of the two countries’ peoples.
“As a region of China, Taiwan can only maintain unofficial relations with the US. However, the Taiwan authorities continue to use the ‘transit’ through the US to challenge the one-China principle,” said Youyi Wu, president of Chinese for Peaceful Unification-West America.
“Some politicians in the US are also playing the ‘Taiwan card’ in order to contain China’s development,” said Wu. “In past decades, the trade and cultural exchanges between China and the US have brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. We call on Speaker McCarthy to put the interests of the US people first, and not to meet with Tsai.”
China firmly opposes the US arrangement for Tsai’s so-called “transit” through the US and a meeting between her and McCarthy, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a daily news briefing on Tuesday, noting that these seriously contravene the one-China principle and provisions of the three China-US joint communiques and gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and provisions in the three China-US joint communiques, not to allow Tsai Ing-wen’s ‘transit’ trip to the US, and not to arrange for any meeting or contact between Tsai and US political figures and officials,” Mao said.
The Chinese side will closely monitor the situation as it develops and resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, she said.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Consulate-General in Los Angeles, noting in a statement on Monday that McCarthy is a leader in Congress and the second in the line of succession to the US presidency, said that his meeting with Tsai seriously violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques.
“It is not conducive to regional peace and stability and does not conform to the common interests of the Chinese and US peoples,” said the spokesperson, adding that the American people should see the real intentions of politicians who ignore the interests of the people and only pursue their own political interests.
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