US lawmakers arrive in Taiwan less than two weeks after Nancy Pelosi’s visit

A delegation of US lawmakers has arrived in Taiwan less than two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in a move that has raised tensions with China.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey led the group arriving on Sunday. A representative for Markey, a member of the foreign relations committee in the Senate, confirmed that lawmakers sought to “reaffirm US support for Taiwan” and “encourage the stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait”.

“The group will meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss common interests including reducing tensions in Taiwan strait and expand economic cooperation, including investment in semiconductors,” the official said.

The visit comes as China resumes its military intimidation campaign towards Taiwan that it started after Pelosi’s visit. Beijing said on August 10 that military exercises around Taiwan, launched to “punish” the host nation of Pelosi, were complete.

However, the People’s Liberation Army still sends fighter jets and warships close to Taiwan in what Taipei and Washington have denounced as an attempt to change the status quo in a flash.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, 22 PLA aircraft and six PLA warships operated in the Taiwan Strait area on Sunday. It said 11 of the planes were operating on the Taiwan side of the median line of the strait, an unofficial buffer zone that Beijing says it “wiped out” during the most recent crisis.

The Taiwanese government welcomed the visit of the US lawmakers and said the delegation would meet the President Tsai Ing-wen, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and members of the Taiwan legislature’s foreign and defense committees. Democratic House legislators Don Beyer, John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal accompanied Markey, as well as Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, the Republican delegate to the House from American Samoa.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The fact that the US Congress will organize a heavy duty delegation to visit Taiwan as China continues to escalate tensions in the region shows its friendship without fear of threats and China’s threat, while emphasizing America’s strong support for Taiwan.

One comments column Published Sunday in the Chinese nationalist Global Times newspaper, the frequency of visits by US lawmakers and officials is “increasing like crazy”.

Until recently, lawmakers and cabinet members from the United States and other democracies regularly visited Taiwan without any disappointment from China. But Beijing has indicated that it intends to step up its countermeasures.

On Friday, China imposed sanctions on the Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport for visiting Taiwan earlier in the week.

Kurt Campbell, the White House National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, on Friday told reporters that the United States expected an “intensified pressure campaign” by the China’s stand against Taiwan “will continue to unfold in the coming weeks and months” with the aim of “intimidating and coercing Taiwan and undermining its resilience”.

Campbell confirmed that US President Joe Biden discussed a possible bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a recent call between the two leaders and asked their team to sort out the details. specific, but nothing new about time or place.

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