LONDON, March 21. /TASS/. US stopovers by the head of the Taiwanese administration, Tsai Ing-wen, on her way to Guatemala and Belize and her possible meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are standard practice and shouldn’t be used by China as a pretext for escalating the situation in the Taiwan Strait, a senior US administration official said, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
"We see no reason for Beijing to turn this transit, again, which is consistent with long-standing U.S. policy, into anything but what it is. It should not be used as a pretext to step up any aggressive activity around the Taiwan Strait," the official said. "There is nothing new from our point of view."
According to the official, every leader of Taiwan had transited through the US, and Tsai has done so herself six times since taking office 2016, meeting with members of Congress during all of those visits.
McCarthy reiterated earlier this month that he would meet with Tsai Ing-wen on the US soil, rather than travel to Taiwan as was planned before. The Financial Times reported the meeting could take place in California. The newspaper said the change of plans was due to security reasons amid the tensions between the US and China. Tensions around the Taiwan Strait escalated gravely following a visit to the island by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August last year.