Lai, who landed in San Francisco yesterday at noon local time, was greeted by Taiwan’s Washington Representative Hsiao Bi-khim and the President of the American Institute in Taiwan Laura Rosenberger, according to the Taiwan news agency CNA.
Lai, who was staying at a hotel near the airport, was greeted by protesters demanding Taiwan’s unification with China in front of the hotel.
Lai stated in his social media post that he will meet with Taiwanese living in the USA during the day.
Lai’s US pause led to China’s reaction
Lai, who is the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the leadership elections to be held in Taiwan next year, made a “transition visit” to the US city of New York before his visit to Paraguay, which drew the reaction of China, which sees the Island as a part of its territory.
In a written statement, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China opposes any contact between the United States and Taiwan and condemned the visit.
Defending that Lai is “a separatist stubbornly committed to the idea of Taiwan’s independence”, the statement said, “China opposes any visitation to the United States by separatists defending Taiwan’s independence under any name or for any reason.” statement was included.
Taiwan, which China defends as part of its territory, has enjoyed de facto independence since 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded. The separation between mainland China and Taiwan, which emerged after the civil war, continues.
Beijing, emphasizing the principle of “One China”, opposes Taiwan’s establishing independent diplomatic relations with the countries of the world, its representation in the United Nations and other international organizations, and stipulates that the countries that recognize it should break diplomatic relations with Taiwan.