U.S. lawmakers defy China, meet with Taiwanese officials in Taipei
The head of a US congressional delegation to Taiwan declared during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday that the autonomous island was a “force for good.” according to Reuters.
Why it’s important: The group arrived in Taipei on Thursday despite pressure from Beijing to cancel the visit, according to two of the five lawmakers on the trip. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) Tweeted that the message she received from the Chinese embassy was “blunt”.
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- Six Republican lawmakers who visited Taiwan earlier this month to meet with Tsai and other Taipei officials faced similar calls from the Beijing Embassy in Washington, D.C. per foreign policy.
- Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Chairman of House Veterans’ Affairs and head of the delegation to Taiwan, praised Taiwan to Tsai as a “democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world.” in comments that will certainly further anger Beijing, according to Reuters.
“Below [Tsai’s] administration, the bonds between us are more positive and productive than they have been for decades. Our commitment in Taiwan is solid and has remained unshakable as the ties between us have deepened. Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world. “
– Rep. Takano
The big picture: Takano, Slotkin and reps. Nancy Mace (RS.C.), Colin Allred (D-Texas.) And Sara Jacobs, (D-Calif.) Were in Taiwan to discuss issues including regional security, US-Taiwan relations “and other key issues of common concern. interest “with Taipei officials, after a statement from the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy.
- Slotkin tweeted Thursday, “The automotive industry’s largest supplier of microchips is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will definitely be on the agenda.”
Background: The Chinese government has entered in recent months the military has escalated and political pressure in their demands over the island, which separated from China in 1949 in the middle of civil war.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include details of the meeting with Tsai Ing-wen.