US Lawmakers, Taiwan President Meet 11/26 06:18
Five U.S. lawmakers met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday in a
surprise one-day visit intended to reaffirm the United States' "rock solid"
support for the self-governing island.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Five U.S. lawmakers met with Taiwanese President Tsai
Ing-wen on Friday in a surprise one-day visit intended to reaffirm the United
States' "rock solid" support for the self-governing island.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives
arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night and planned to meet with senior leaders
including Tsai, said the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S.
embassy. No further details were provided about their itinerary.
The visit comes as tensions between Taiwan and China have risen to their
highest level in decades. Taiwan has been self-ruled since the two sides split
during a civil war in 1949, but China considers the island part of its own
China was quick to condemn the trip when news first broke Thursday night.
"When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office received a blunt message
from the Chinese Embassy, telling me to call off the trip," Representative
Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat who is part of the delegation, wrote on
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian condemned the
visit, calling it a violation of the "one-China principle" under which Taiwan
is considered part of China.
"That individual U.S. politicians wantonly challenge the one-China principle
and embolden the 'Taiwan independence' forces has aroused the strong
indignation of 1.4 billion Chinese people," Zhao said. He added that
unification of Taiwan and China is an "unstoppable historical trend."
Representatives Mark Takano, D-Calif., Colin Allred, D-Texas., Sara Jacobs,
D-Calif., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., are also part of the delegation.
"We are here in Taiwan this week to remind our partners and allies, after
two trying years that we've endured, that our commitment and shared
responsibility for a free and secure Indo-Pacific region remain stronger than
ever," Takano said.
Takano added that the U.S. relationship with Taiwan is "rock solid and has
remained steadfast as the ties between us have deepened."
Tsai, who welcomed the lawmakers at the Presidential Office in Taipei, noted
the two sides' cooperation in veterans' affairs, economic issues and trade
while reiterating the island's close alignment with the U.S.
"Taiwan will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order
to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and
stability in the region," Tsai said.
The visit is the third by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan this year and comes just
a few weeks after a group of six Republican members of Congress visited the
island. That delegation met with President Tsai, National Security Secretary
General Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, among others.
In June, three members of Congress flew to Taiwan to donate badly needed
vaccines at a time when the island was struggling to get enough.
The Biden administration has also invited Taiwan to a Summit for Democracy
next month, a move that drew a sharp rebuke from China.
In the Solomon Islands this week, anti-government rioters held protests and
looted parts of the capital city in part over complaints about a 2019 decision
to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. China has been on a
campaign to poach Taiwan's remaining diplomatic allies.