Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the decision by the Chinese government to sanction him over his trip to Taiwan was a “badge of honor” after the Republican congressman met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last week.
“Being sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party is a badge of honor,” McCaul said in a statement. “Nothing will deter the United States from supporting free, democratic nations — including Taiwan.”
McCaul has been a vocal supporter of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy of 23 million people, which China claims as part of its territory. The U.S. dynamic with Taiwan, of which it is one of the chief military supporters, is one of the most divisive issues in American-Chinese relations.
McCaul visited the country last week after Tsai also met with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in California earlier this month, a meeting that China condemned. The Chinese government targeted McCaul with sanctions on Wednesday, saying the congressman has “frequently taken words and deeds to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
“Republican Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas has frequently taken words and deeds to interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests in recent years, and recently led a delegation to visit the Taiwan region of China, seriously violating the one-China principle and the three-way relationship between China and the United States,” China’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.