US Congressmen arrive in Taiwan amid tensions in China

TAIPEI/WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – A delegation of U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a two-day visit to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level delegation to visit the country amid military tensions. Between Swarajya Island and China.

Beijing, which claims it democratically rules Taiwan as its own territory, staged military drills across the island in early August to show its anger over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

The four House lawmakers were accompanied as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region led by Senator Ed Markey, the de facto US ambassador in Taipei.

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Taiwan’s presidential office said the group will meet with Sai on Monday morning.

“Markey is leading a delegation that will once again demonstrate the US Congress’ firm support for Taiwan, especially at a time when China is raising tensions through military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” it said in a statement.

Markey chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee. The visit was co-chaired by Representative John Karamendi and Representative Don Beyer of the Congressional Task Force on Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control.

The Chinese embassy in Washington said on Sunday that “members of the US Congress should act in accordance with the US government’s one-China policy” and argued that the recent congressional visit “demonstrates once again that the US does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Strait”. And no attempt was made to provoke conflict between the two sides and to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

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A spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council said members of Congress have visited Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so, saying such visits are consistent with America’s long-standing one-China policy.

Lawmakers in Taiwan will “reaffirm America’s support for Taiwan through the Taiwan Relations Act, US-China Partnerships and the Six Pledges, and promote stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Markey’s office said.

‘Shared Interests’

“The team will meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions across the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation, including investments in semiconductors,” Markey’s office said.

The delegation stopped in South Korea, where Margie met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released pictures of the four lawmakers meeting at Taipei’s downtown Changshan Airport on a US Air Force transport jet as they arrived at Marquis Dayuan International Airport.

“They will meet with senior Taiwanese leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change and other significant issues of mutual interest,” the US embassy said.

While China’s exercises around Taiwan have decreased, it is still conducting military operations.

Eleven Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said. Read More Thirteen flights crossed the strait on Saturday, the ministry said. read more

US officials have said Beijing “overreacted” to Pelosi’s visit and used it as an excuse to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. read more

Reporting by Ben Blanchard and David Shepherdson and Michael Martina in Washington, Shanghai Newsroom; Editing: Kirsten Donovan, Nick McPhee, Grant McCool and Diane Croft

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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