Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during “A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region” forum in Taipei, Taiwan March. File photo/Reuters
TAIPEI: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will visit Hawaii next week on a tour of diplomatic allies in the Pacific, official media said on Thursday, a move likely to anger China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own amid tension across the strait.
China regards Taiwan as its sacred territory and regularly calls it the most sensitive and important issue in ties with the United States, complaining to Washington about transit stops by Taiwan presidents.
Tsai will transit Hawaii next Wednesday on her way home from an eight-day visit to three diplomatic allies, the official Central News Agency said.
Taiwan, which China deems ineligible for state-to-state relations, has formal ties with 17 countries, almost all small nations in Central America and the Pacific.
The island battles to keep its allies from switching their allegiance to China, which last year persuaded Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador to forge relations with Beijing.
Visiting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged a tourism boost and gifted a coast guard vessel to the remote Pacific microstate of Palau, as she works to check a push for regional influence by rival China.
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Taiwan on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, shaking buildings and disrupting traffic.
The US military said it sent two Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday as the Pentagon increases the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on New Zealand on Monday to ensure a fair investment environment, as he meets Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern whose country has rejected a bid by Chinese telecom giant Huawei to build a 5G mobile network.
One of the two oil tankers crippled in attacks in the Gulf of Oman last week that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran is now anchored off the coast of the United Arab emirates with crew on board, the ship's operator said on Sunday.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said he "won't hesitate" to tackle any threats to the kingdom, according to an interview published on Sunday.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has broken the world record in major inspection outages by re-engineering the Gas Turbine SGT-4000F overhaul process at the Jebel Ali Power and Desalination Complex.