Two-party group of US lawmakers face Taiwan’s president despite defiance of China

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Five USA Legislators who arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night have now met with the island’s president Tsai Ing-wendespite warnings from China to cancel the trip.

After the meeting, the president reiterated both sides ‘cooperation on veterans’ issues, economic issues and trade, while emphasizing the island’s close connection to the United States.

“Taiwan will continue to intensify cooperation with the United States to uphold our common values ​​of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” Tsai said.

Taiwan has been a point of contention as tensions rose between the United States and China in recent months. Taiwan has been self-governing since it split from China after a civil war in 1949. However, China still considers the island to be part of its territory.

This trip, the second by US leaders in just one month, came when China has increased pressure to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan.

The delegation was led by House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano, a California Democrat. It also included the Michigan representative Elissa Slotkin, Texas Colin Allred, California’s Sara Jacobs and South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace.

In a statement on Twitter, Slotkin said she landed in Taiwan after spending Thanksgiving with US troops in South Korea.

“After stops in Japan and Korea, it will be good to get in touch with leaders here to discuss a variety of economic and national security issues,” Slotkin said.

“When the news of our trip came yesterday, my office received a blunt message from the Chinese embassy saying that I would cancel the trip,” she said.

“But as with other stops, we are here to learn about the region and reaffirm the United States’ commitment to our hosts, the Taiwanese. I look forward to an informative trip,” the official added.

In its letter to the US legislature, the Chinese Embassy in Taiwan stated: between China and the United States and the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, ”reported NBC News.

Tensions have remained high since China’s rapid militarization of Taiwan and the US President Joe Bidens subsequent promise last month that help Taiwan in the event of an attack from Beijing.

While the United States formally recognizes Beijing’s “One China Policy”, it supplies arms to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act.

This is the third visit by American leaders to the island nation this year.

A few weeks ago, six Republican lawmakers visited island and met with government officials, including President Tsai, National Security Chief Wellington Koo, and Secretary of State Joseph Wu.

And before that in June, three members of Congress flew to Taiwan to donate covid-19 vaccines when the island was struggling.

Although the itinerary for the most recent visit has not been revealed, Slotkin said it would include problems with the supply chain. “The automotive industry’s largest supplier of microchips is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will definitely be on the agenda.”

The visit came the next day Mr Biden invited Taiwan to the forthcoming US Summit on Democracy next month, prompting criticism from China.

The United States has invited 110 countries, including Taiwan, but excluded China and Russia.

In a statement, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said: interest and maintain their hegemony in the world. “

Mr Biden and President of China Xi Jinping locked horns at a virtual summit last week when Mr Biden warned against “unilateral efforts to change the status quo” across the Taiwan Strait.

Additional reporting from authorities

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