A group of congressmen from the United States arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, in the second delegation of its kind to visit the island this month, the focus of tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The arrival of this mission of four congressmen, three Democrats and a Republican, comes just days after US President Joe Biden invited Taiwan to a summit on democracy, provoking the anger of Beijing.
The visit demonstrates “the strong friendship between Taiwan and the United States” and the “strong bipartisan support for deepening these ties” in Congress, said Xavier Chang, spokesman for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
China regards Taiwan as one of its provinces, even though it is governed separately and democratically, and is committed to retaking it, by force if necessary.
Especially under the presidency of Xi Jinping in Beijing and Tsai in Taipei, tensions escalated and the Chinese authorities redoubled their efforts to isolate the island internationally.
“When our trip became known yesterday, my office received a strong message from the Chinese embassy telling me to cancel the trip,” said Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.
The American Institute of Taiwan, the de facto US embassy, said the two-day visit would address “US-Taiwan relations, regional security and other significant issues of mutual concern.”
The sympathy of Western countries for Taiwan is growing despite diplomatic, military and economic pressure from the Chinese authorities on the island.
In addition to the two visits by US lawmakers, a group of French senators and a delegation from the European Parliament visited Taiwan in recent weeks.
The territory is officially recognized by only fifteen countries, but it maintains de facto diplomatic relations with multiple nations.
aw / jta / reb / dbh / zm