A delegation from the US Congress made a trip to Taiwan, rejecting a demand from China to cancel the visit amid growing geopolitical tensions on the autonomous island.
Five members of the US House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for meetings with government officials, after celebrating the US Thanksgiving Day with US troops in South Korea. The visit, which marked the second trip to Taiwan this month by members of Congress, was billed as an effort to discuss economic and security issues while reaffirming the “American commitment” to the Taiwanese.
Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) noted that when news of the last trip broke on Wednesday, his office received a “clear message” Chinese Embassy asking him to cancel meetings in Taipei.
“We strongly urge the congresswoman to immediately cancel the planned visit to Taiwan and not to support and embolden the separatist forces for the independence of Taiwan, lest it cause enormous damage to China-U.S. Relations and to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait “, the embassy told Slotkin.
The MP added that she was keen to discuss supply chain issues with the Taiwanese, given that the island is home to the largest supplier of microchips to Michigan automakers. The delegation included three other Democrats and a Republican.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be a separatist province. President Joe Biden confirmed last week in a lengthy phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping that Washington will continue to respect the law on relations with Taiwan, including the “The one-China policy”. But Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she remains convinced the United States will defend the island if it is “Attacked” by China.
The Biden-Xi talks have apparently done little to reduce saber rattling in the region. A U.S. Navy destroyer crossed the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, despite China’s earlier complaints that such measures are provocative. Following the previous visit by U.S. lawmakers to Taipei this month, Beijing organized military exercises in the region, which Taiwanese officials say violated their airspace.
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