TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, 12 days after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. It prompted China to hold several days of threatening military drills around the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims to come under its control.
The five-member delegation, led by Sen. Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions and investments in the Taiwan Strait. Semiconductors.
China responded to Pelosi’s August 2 visit By sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and skies around Taiwan for days at a time. The Chinese government opposes Taiwan having official contact with foreign governments, especially a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi.
A Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a US government plane landing at Changshan Airport in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, at around 7pm on Sunday. Four members of the delegation were on board.
Margie met South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol earlier Sunday in South Korea before arriving at Taoyuan International Airport on a private flight to Taiwan. Markey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, and members of the House of Representatives will reaffirm America’s support for Taiwan.
Other members of the delegation include the representative of American Samoa, the Republican Party. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen and Democrats John Karamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California and Don Baier from Virginia.
Chinese warplanes continue to cross the middle of the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis after military exercises ended last Wednesday, with at least 10 doing so on Sunday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.
22 Chinese military aircraft and six naval ships, including 10 fighter jets, were spotted in the area around Taiwan around 5pm on Sunday. Ministry said on its Twitter account.
A senior White House official on Asia policy said last weekend that China had used Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to launch an intensified campaign of pressure against Taiwan, threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the wider region.
“China has overreacted, and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented,” Kurt Campbell, a deputy aide to President Joe Biden, said in a call with reporters.
“It sought to ignore the central line between the PRC and Taiwan, which has been respected as a stabilizing feature by both sides for more than 60 years,” he said, using an abbreviation for the country’s full name, the People’s Republic of China.
China accuses the US of encouraging independence forces in Taiwan by selling military equipment to Taiwan and engaging with its officials. The US says it does not support Taiwan’s independence, but wants its differences with China to be resolved through peaceful means.
China’s ruling Communist Party has long said it wants Taiwan to join China peacefully but does not rule out force. If needed. The two split during a civil war in 1949 in which the Communists overran China and the defeated Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan.
Speaking on Friday, Campbell said the US would announce in the coming days that the US would send warships and aircraft through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks and that it was developing a road map for trade talks with Taiwan.
Moritsugu reported from Beijing.
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