No contact yet with incoming U.S. House speaker on Taiwan trip: FM

11/21/2022 01:57 PM
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U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Source: facebook.com/RepKevinMcCarthy
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Source: facebook.com/RepKevinMcCarthy

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Monday said that no official contact had yet been made with the U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy regarding a trip to Taiwan.

McCarthy -- the likely next speaker of the House following gains for the Republican Party in recent midterm elections -- had previously pledged to visit Taiwan if he gained office.

However, Wu told a legislative session that he believed McCarthy's busy schedule precluded any chance of a trip to Taiwan in the near future.

McCarthy is vying to become speaker after his party won a narrow majority in this month's elections.

However, the Republican will need to secure enough votes to be formally elected when the new Congress sits for the first time in January.

McCarthy had previously said he would have liked to join the delegation of outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi that visited Taiwan in August.

He later said that he would love to visit Taiwan if he became speaker.

Meanwhile, asked if McCarthy, known for his hardline stance against China, would expedite arms sales to Taiwan, Wu said it was too early to tell.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan were heightened after Pelosi's visit, the first by a sitting U.S. House Speaker in 25 years.

In the wake of Pelosi's 19-hour trip, Beijing accused Washington of promoting Taiwanese independence and hollowing out its "one-China" policy, later launching a series of large-scale military drills in the vicinity of the island.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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