McCarthy originally planned to go to Taiwan himself, but instead decided to meet Tsai in California.
The decision was seen as a compromise that emphasized support for Taiwan but avoided escalating tensions with China, a move analysts say has so far proven successful.
“It’s very common to meet American friends in transit,” Tsai said on Thursday.
“We hope that the Chinese side will exercise restraint and not overreact.”
McCarthy vowed that US arms sales to Taiwan, angering Chinese leadership, would continue, saying it was a proven strategy to dissuade the aggression.
“From what we know from history, the best way to do this is to provide people with weapons to deter war,” he said.
“The important lesson we learned from Ukraine is that future just sanctions will not stop someone who wants to go to war.”
Tsai acknowledged the arms deal Thursday but did not provide details.
“We bought weapons from the United States and we want them to be delivered on time,” she said.
Amid complaints from Taiwan over delays in deliveries of US arms, such as the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, last year, a senior US lawmaker said Friday that it is doing everything possible to expedite the process. He enters the island with permission from the US government.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told reporters visiting Taiwan that Taiwan should have access to weapons given the Chinese threat.
“On the arms issue, I signed that communication and we are doing everything in our power to facilitate this,” he said, meeting Chairman Yu Si-kun at Taiwan’s parliament.
He added that Taiwan needs to be “hardened” and help deterrence capabilities.
McCaul said ideas to get weapons to Taiwan more quickly included re-prioritizing arms sales and “third-party sales” given that the island is in a high-risk area.
“We want to do everything possible to prevent a very aggressive country from thinking of landing on the shores of this beautiful island, as doing so would be a serious mistake for everyone.”
The United States is Taiwan’s most important arms supplier and a source of China’s continued anger at Washington.
On Friday, China imposed sanctions on Taiwan’s ambassador to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, barring her from entering China and accusing her of “deliberately inciting cross-strait confrontation”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also imposed sanctions on the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington-based think tank, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library “for providing a platform for ‘Taiwan separatist’ activities in the United States and promoting Tsai Ing-wen’s participation.” announced. main”.
The two organizations are currently prohibited from engaging in transactions and cooperation with Chinese companies, and the four individuals involved with them are prohibited from entering or conducting business in China.