The Vice President of Taiwan, William Lai, is set to visit the United States, a move that the People’s Republic of China has criticised.
Taiwan’s Vice President is officially traveling to Paraguay, a landlocked country in South America for the presidential ceremony of Santiago Peña, who is set to assume Paraguay’s presidency on August 15. On his trip, William Lai will also make a stopover in the United States. He will visit New York before visiting Paraguay.
The Vice President of Taiwan left for the trip on Saturday. Taipei and Washington said that the stopover cannot cause China to take “provocative” actions. However, China has reacted with anger, slamming the United States. China called it a demonstration of continued US support for Taiwan, which it claims as sovereign Chinese territory.
Reportedly, Taiwanese officials fear that the visit could escalate more Chinese military actions near Taiwan. Taiwanese officials also told news agency Reuters that increased military actions by China are expected near Taiwan next week.
The officials also claimed that China can use William Lai’s stopovers in the United States as a reason to instill fear among voters ahead of next year’s election.
According to reports and knowledgeable sources, China dislikes William Lai, a leading contender for Taiwan’s upcoming presidential elections, because he has called himself a “practical worker for Taiwan independence.”
However, William Lai has repeatedly talked about his commitment to not change the status quo of the island country during his election campaign.
William Rai wrote in English on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, that he was excited to meet US officials. Laura Rosenberger, chair of the Virginia-based American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), also commented on the post. Laura said that AIT was looking forward to welcoming him.
In a video, he also revealed that he would give a solar-powered GPS bike computer to Paraguay’s new president, Santiago Peña.