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Speaker Kevin McCarthy is signaling to China the country can’t influence who he meets with, following a Southern California get-together with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
“China cannot dictate who a speaker of the House can meet with, either foe or friend,” McCarthy told Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power” after the event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
McCarthy, who’s traveled to Beijing three times, said he would “gladly” meet with Chinese President Xi Jingping. He emphasized the gathering with Tsai included both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
The California Republican also said he wanted the US to speed arms sales to Taiwan to strengthen the island democracy’s military deterrence.
“What we should do is speed up that process so they can defend themselves,” McCarthy said.
A Chinese aircraft carrier battle group on Wednesday entered Taiwan’s southeastern waters, according to the island’s Ministry of National Defense, an early — if mostly symbolic — sign of the “resolute measures” Beijing had pledged in response to the “provocation” presented by the encounter, Annmarie Hordern reports.
McCarthy emerged from the meeting Wednesday with Taiwan’s president stressing the importance of the relationship between the two sides to economic freedom, peace and stability in the region.
Neither leader mentioned China in their joint public remarks, even as the meeting provided a new challenge in the already fraught relations between Washington and Beijing.
“I believe our bond is stronger now than at any time or point in my lifetime,” McCarthy told reporters. Cindy Wang and Laura Curtis have more on the meeting’s implications.
US-China Relations Tense
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) compared Xi to Adolf Hitler while standing alongside Taiwan’s vice president, who is set to compete for the ruling party in an election next January.
The Biden administration criticized Beijing for measures it took against American and other foreign companies in China, with a US official saying the actions are worrisome and inconsistent with pledges from Chinese officials to maintain an open business environment.
Ahead of the 2024 GOP Primaries
The 34 felony criminal counts brought against former President Donald Trump by the Manhattan district attorney amount to “a weak case” that is politically driven, McCarthy said Wednesday.
Trump’s presidential campaign is trying to enlist donors who have supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by presenting the former president’s rising poll numbers as an unstoppable force in the race for the US Republican nomination.
Rep. Thomas Massie became the first congressional Republican since Trump’s arraignment to formally endorse DeSantis for president.
DeSantis reshaped the Florida Supreme Court as governor—shifting the bench further to the right—and his picks fed the federal judiciary under Trump.
Former Vice President Mike Pence won’t appeal a judge’s order to testify before a grand jury considering evidence in a special counsel’s probe into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to his spokesman Devin O’Malley.
Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan can’t avoid testifying at trial if they’re subpoenaed by Dominion Voting Systems in the company’s $1.6 billion defamation suit over Fox News’s airing of false claims that it rigged the 2020 presidential election, a judge said.
Wisconsin’s election to fill a state Supreme Court seat was more than a confidence-booster for Democrats. It showed political strategists some of what they need to prepare for ahead of elections for president and Congress in the quintessential swing state.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of America’s foremost political dynasties who has emerged as a prominent anti-vaccine activist in recent years, will challenge Joe Biden for president in 2024.
- Biden at 4 p.m. departs the White House for Fort McNair, and then departs for Camp David at 4:20 p.m.
- At 1 p.m., White House Press Secretary Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing.
Other News We’re Reading Today
McCarthy said Wednesday that Wall Street should be concerned about the political impasse over the US debt ceiling as the country inches closer to a possible payment default.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday plans to announce what the Biden administration is calling the largest community solar effort in US history, enough to power 140,000 homes and businesses.
A battle over increasing the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots is building in Congress, as a wave of retirements loom and carriers brace for another busy season of post-pandemic travel.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is banking on new House Agriculture Committee members to help push Latino priorities forward in the next farm bill.