Sun. Aug 18th, 2019

China’s urge for US to block President Tsai’s Hawaii stopover does not hamper meeting with US ambassador

President Tsai Ing-wen with United States Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyat (Source: US Embassy Koror)

Tsa Ing-wen’s planned stopover in Hawaii did not prevent the United States Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyatt from showing up at a banquet hosted by the former in Palau at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center on March 23.

President Tsai, who was in Palau from March 21-24 as part of her Oceans of Democracy state visits to three Pacific allies, had a brief and limited interaction with the US Ambassador during the event.

Ambassador Hyatt also attended another banquet hosted by the Palau government for President Tsai and her delegations on March 22.

The US ambassador’s presence in the two banquets was deemed as a sign of growing ties between Taiwan and US who both share unofficial relationship. Beijing, which considers self-ruling Taipei as its breakaway province,openly expressed opposition to its allies who “arrange this kind of transit.”

In our previous reports, high-ranking US government officials had reiterated that the US supports and respects other countries’ decisions to recognize Taiwan as an independent state.

A report by Reuters said that Beijing had urged the United States on March 21 to not allow President Tsai’s planned stopover in Hawaii after visiting Taipei’s three allies in the Pacific.

The same report quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in saying that Beijing “consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the US State Department was also quoted in the same report in saying that Tsai’s transits would be “private and unofficial” but that she would be greeted in Hawaii by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)