Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will make stopovers in the United States during her trip from March 29 to Central American states with diplomatic ties with the island, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
In the tour through April 7, Tsai will transit through New York and Los Angeles on her way to and from the two Central American nations of Guatemala and Belize, the ministry said. A meeting is reportedly being arranged between the Taiwan leader and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
A meeting between Tsai and McCarthy would surely infuriate Beijing, which regards the self-ruled democratic island as its own.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed at a press conference Tuesday China's strong opposition to Tsai's plan to make the stopovers in the United States.
Wang said Beijing has lodged solemn representations to the United States over Tsai's planned stopovers. "The transit is just a pretext. The real intention is to seek breakthroughs and propagate Taiwan independence," he said.
The spokesman urged the United States to "stop upgrading the substantial relations" with Taiwan and "hollowing out the one-China principle." He also warned authorities of the territory that "any attempt to seek independence in collusion with external forces is doomed to failure."
The Taiwan Foreign Ministry did not provide detailed schedules of Tsai in the United States. She is reportedly planning to give speeches in the country.
Communist-led China fiercely reacted to a visit to Taiwan last August by McCarthy's predecessor Nancy Pelosi by conducting large-scale military drills near Taiwan and suspending dialogue with the United States over various areas.
China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949 due to a civil war. Beijing regards the island as a renegade province to be unified with the mainland by force if necessary.
Tsai last visited the United States in July 2019 as part of her trip to Caribbean countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, triggering China's protest.
Meanwhile, Beijing also expressed firm opposition Tuesday to a German minister's ongoing trip to Taiwan, which marks the first such visit by a Cabinet minister from the European country in 26 years.
Wang called the visit by Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the German education and research minister, an "egregious act" and said Beijing has made serious demarches to Berlin.
He called on Germany to abide by the one-China principle and "stop interacting with and sending wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces."