Other Voices: McCarthy Right to Lead Meeting with Taiwan President

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who doesn’t always speak for the United States, did so with moral clarity when he met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen last week along with a bipartisan group that included Democrat House No. 3 Pete Aguilar at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, praising “a successful democracy, a prosperous economy, and a world leader in health and science.” Those words could have been spoken by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy’s longtime partisan fighter (and fellow Californian). They both know that Taiwan is many things mainland China is not, chief among them a staunch ally of the United States and a place where genuine freedom thrives.

These days, unified support from the United States is crucial for the Asian island nation (population: 24 million, 169,000 active military), as China (population: 1.4 billion, 2 million active military) breathes down its neck with increasing heat. Beijing, by refusing to recognize Taiwan’s independence, wants it to “unify” with the mainland. Translation: the furthest thing from democratic China wants to take over its smaller democratic neighbor, just as Russia is trying to do with Ukraine.

So it was no surprise to hear cries from Beijing last week, with threats of retaliation if McCarthy dared to meet with Tsai: “We strongly oppose this and will take resolute countermeasures,” the Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said. from China. You’re free to put those thoughts on TikTok and see if they go viral, but they’re not changing the standing of what used to be called the Free World.

China’s goals are transparent: to squeeze the life out of Hong Kong, turning what was a vibrant and creative global city into a docile piece of economic machinery, and to dominate Taiwan, to become an entrenched and unrivaled power that tolerates no dissent. .

The United States, which is supposed to care about human rights and government of the people, by and for the people, must see those ambitions as contrary to its values, and use every ounce of soft power it has to support those who are in front of it. to the Chinese tanks. President Biden has a backbone; he has to exercise it.

— The New York Daily News

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