TAIPEI, Taiwan — A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that prompted China to launch days of threatening military drills around the self-governing island that Beijing says must come under its control.
A five-member delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts will meet with President TsaiIng-wen, other officials and members of the private industry to discuss common interests, including the reduction of tensions in Taiwan Strait, and investment in semiconductors.
China responded to Pelosi’s Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and skies around Taiwan for several days afterward. Pelosi is a high ranking congressional leader and Taiwan has no official contacts with them.
Taiwanese television showed footage of the landing at Songshan Airport, Taipei’s capital. The plane was piloted by four members of the delegation.
Markey was in South Korea to meet with Yoon Suk Yeol, the South Korean president. He then flew separately to Taiwan at Taoyuan International Airport which serves Taipei. Markey, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, and members of the delegation will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan.
Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen from Republican is the other member of this delegation. She’s a delegate for American Samoa and John Garamendi from California and Alan Lowenthal (Democratic House Member) from Virginia.
Chinese warplanes have continued crossing the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis even after the conclusion of the military exercises last Wednesday, with at least 10 doing so on Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.
These 10 fighter planes were one of 22 Chinese naval vessels and military aircraft that had been detected around Taiwan at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. the ministry saidFollow it on Twitter.
A senior White House official on Asia policy said late last week that China had used Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to launch an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region.
“China has overreacted, and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing, and unprecedented,” Kurt Campbell, a deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, said on a call with reporters.
“It has sought to disregard the centerline between the P.R.C. and Taiwan, which has been respected by both sides for more than 60 years as a stabilizing feature,” he said, using the acronym for the country’s full name, the People’s Republic of China.
China charges the U.S. with encouraging Taiwan independence by selling it military equipment, and engaging in negotiations with its officials. According to the U.S., Taiwan independence is not supported but differences should be settled peacefully with China.
China’s ruling Communist Party has long said that it favors Taiwan joining China peacefully but that it will not rule out force if necessary. In 1949, the Communists overtook China in a civil war. The losing Nationalists fled to Taiwan.
Campbell spoke Friday and said that the U.S. will send planes and warships through Taiwan Strait within the next few days. He also said that the U.S. is currently developing a roadmap to trade negotiations with Taiwan, which he stated the U.S. plans to release in the coming days.
Read More From Time