Six US lawmakers visited Taiwan for an unexpected two-day visit on Thursday amid rising tensions between Washington, Beijing. American Institute in Taiwan confirmed the visit, serving as de facto embassy for the United States in Taipei.
“To discuss U.S.-Taiwan Relations, Regional Security, and Other Important Issues of Mutual Interest, the congressional delegation will be meeting with Taiwanese leaders.” the Institute said in a statement.
According to Reuters the bipartisan group that includes a Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, and a senior Republican senator Lindsey Graham arrived in Taipei Thursday on a US Air Force plane and was welcomed by Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Relations.
TsaiIng-wen (the Taiwanese President) will meet with the lawmakers Friday.
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said that the lawmakers’ visit would contribute to deepening partnership between the island and the US, and underlined that Taipei would continue to work with the United States for the benefit of “Peace, stability, prosperity, and development at the global and regional levels.”
China has been angered at the presence of these parliamentarians. At a daily press briefing on Thursday Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian underlined that Beijing “We strongly oppose any official interaction between Taiwan and the United States.”
“US Congress members should follow the one-China policy of the US government. The US side should abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, stop official exchanges with Taiwan and avoid going further down the dangerous path,” Lijian said.
He warned that China would continue to take “Foremost, take strong steps” to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Taiwan was de facto an independent country from China in 1949. The losing side of the Chinese civil war fled Taiwan to establish its administration. China has, however, always considered Taiwan part of its territory. It views Taiwan as a separate province.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, made it clear that China will not hesitate to use force to punish Taiwan if this island with 25 million people tries to have a break from Beijing. For Chinese officials, however, it seems that a peaceful resolution is preferable.
The US has a view about the chances that China will attack Taiwan
The US recognizes Beijing as China’s sole legal authority since 1979. However, it maintains strong informal ties and military support for the island.
Share this story via social media