That whole “Don't mess with Texas” thing? It was on full display, Sunday, when Sen. Ted Cruz told China in no uncertain terms to butt out of America's business.
Despite strong objections from China, Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Houston. Following the meeting, Cruz blasted Chinese leaders, telling them America will meet with whomever “we see fit.”
In a statement on his website, Cruz told it like it is.
"The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC [People's Republic of China]. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend.
The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit.
The US-Taiwan relationship is not on the negotiating table. It is bound in statute and founded on common interests. I look forward to working with President Tsai to strengthen our partnership."
The dust-up comes in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump's post-election congratulatory phone call from the Taiwanese president, about which China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between [the] U.S. and Taiwan.”
Trump pretty much blew off the “controversy”:
Cruz described Sunday's meeting in the website statement:
"I was honored to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan today. We discussed our mutual opportunity to upgrade the stature of our bilateral relations in a wide-ranging discussion that addressed arms sales, diplomatic exchanges, and economic relations.
Furthering economic cooperation between our two nations must be a priority; increased access to Taiwanese markets will benefit Texas farmers, ranchers and small business owners alike.
Shortly before our meeting, the Houston congressional delegation received a curious letter from the Chinese consulate asking members of Congress not to meet with President Tsai, and to uphold the ‘One-China policy’.
Following Trump's phone call, China vowed to “take revenge” if the president-elect abandoned the “One-China Policy.” It appears that the wily senator from Texas couldn't care less.