US lawmakers challenge China to meet with officials in Taiwan

WASHINGTON – Five US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Thursday to meet government officialsDefying a warning from Beijing to stay away from Strongly disputed Democratic Island.

“When news of our flight broke yesterday, my office received an explicit message from the Chinese Embassy telling me that the flight was cancelled,” Representative Elisa Slotkin, D-Mitch. wrote on twitter. “The largest supplier of microchips to the auto industry is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will definitely be on the agenda.”

Slotkin’s office later shared with NBC News excerpts of a letter he said he received from the embassy on Wednesday.

“We strongly urge the congresswoman to immediately cancel the planned visit to Taiwan, and not to support and encourage the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, lest they cause serious damage to Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the embassy wrote.

The embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The bipartisan delegation that arrived Thursday, headed by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., included fellow committee members Slutkin and Representatives Colin Allred, Representative from Texas and Nancy Mays, R. S., as well as Representative. Sarah Jacobs, D-Calif., According to Reuters, who first reported the flight.

US support For the Taiwanese military, the rise in informal relations with Taiwan in recent years has strained US-China relations. China claims Taiwan and has no official relations with countries that recognize the autonomous island as an independent country. As a result, the United States It does not officially recognize TaiwanAnd don’t keep an embassy there.

However, the United States has upgraded its relations with Taiwan over the past several years, including through a consular agreement, continued support for Taiwan’s security and visits by US officials. that previous trip By members of Congress led to China’s response with military exercises near Taiwan.

The United States’ attitude toward China’s relationship with Taiwan is one of the ‘strategic ambiguity’ Which aims to leave open the question of how Washington would respond to any Chinese attack on Taiwan or blockade. President Joe Biden said at a CNN board meeting in October that the United States would defend Taiwan against any attack, but the White House quickly made clear that there was no change in US policy.

Hailing the island as a “force for good” in the world during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, Takano said Tsai’s relations with the United States have been more productive than they have been in decades.

“Our commitment to Taiwan is very well-established and has remained steadfast as our relations deepen. Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world,” he said.

Reuters Contributed.

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