Taiwan Vice President Heads to US on Sensitive Trip

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William Lai is officially making only transit stops in the US on his way to and from Paraguay, but China has reacted with anger.

Taiwan Vice President William Lai has left for a sensitive trip to the United States, which China has condemned and Taiwanese officials fear could prompt more Chinese military activity around the democratically governed island.

Lai, the frontrunner to become Taiwan’s president in elections in January, is officially making only transit stops in the United States on his way to and from Paraguay for the swearing-in of its president.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday at Taiwan’s main international airport at Taoyuan, Lai made only fleeting mention of the US part of his trip, simply noting he was going to New York first.

He said he would use the Paraguay visit not only to deepen ties with that country but also to have “self-confident” exchanges with other countries and meet with delegations from like-minded partners.

This will “let the international community understand that Taiwan is a country that adheres to democracy, freedom and human rights, and actively participates in international affairs”, Lai added.

Taipei and Washington say such stopovers are routine and no cause for China to take “provocative” actions.

Source : aljazeera