- Kevin McCarthy shared a map of China that included Taiwan in a tweet criticizing China.
- The Chinese Communist Party is very sensitive to its claims about Taiwan in Western media.
- As a result, Beijing has long sought for Taiwan to be shown as part of China — which McCarthy did.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday inadvertently handed the Chinese Communist Party a minor propaganda victory by sharing a map of China that includes Taiwan.
“To have an electrified economy, you have to mine for critical minerals. But right now, we are dependent on China,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet posted on his official account in promotion of HR 1, the GOP’s sweeping energy bill.
The Chinese Communist Party is extremely sensitive to any language or depiction that undermines its claims to Taiwan. Beijing has long claimed that Taiwan is a breakaway province and there are increasing fears that China will invade the island as a way to forcefully assert its claim.
The US has followed a One China policy that does not formally support Taiwan’s independence and acknowledges the existence of a sole Chinese government. The US also supports Taiwan’s defense and maintains a de facto embassy on the island. Many Republicans have pushed for a more aggressive armament of Taiwan in the face of Beijing’s growing pressure.
McCarthy had pledged to visit Taiwan following then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic trip. China lashed out at the US for Pelosi’s trip and has warned against McCarthy’s travels. The Financial Times reported earlier this month that McCarthy would instead meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California at Tsai’s insistence.
China’s protectiveness over its claims surrounding Taiwan has led to major brands apologizing for fear of losing access to the Chinese market. Gap, Dior, and multiple airlines have apologized for various perceived slights in recent years, as CNN previously documented. Tom Cruise’s iconic bomber jacket in “Top Gun” was briefly altered to remove Taiwan’s official flag. The flag was later restored following a public outcry.
Representatives for McCarthy did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. As of publication, the tweet remains accessible.