China's Bluff Called: Five More US Lawmakers Land in Taiwan for High-Level Defense Talks
Following the uproar over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month, a delegation of five United States lawmakers arrived in the country Sunday on an unannounced visit.
According to Fox News, the delegation is being led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
Three other Democrats, Reps. John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal of California and Don Beyer of Virginia, joined Markey on the trip. Rep. Amata Radewagen of American Samoa was the lone Republican in the delegation.
Vice Minister Yui extended the warmest of welcomes to #Taiwan’s?? longstanding friend @SenMarkey & his cross-party delegation comprising @RepGaramendi, @RepLowenthal, @RepDonBeyer & @RepAmata. We thank the like-minded #US?? lawmakers for the timely visit & unwavering support. pic.twitter.com/XZKoKhnPZO
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) ?? (@MOFA_Taiwan) August 14, 2022
A representative for Markey said the delegation’s trip is meant to “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan” and “will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” CNN reported.
The group plans to meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu over the two-day visit.
In addition, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the delegation will meet with the Taiwanese parliament’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense to discuss issues regarding trade and security for the island nation.
The Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan to be part of China’s territory even though China has never controlled it. When news broke of Pelosi’s Aug. 2 trip, China warned of retaliation if the trip went on as planned.
Officials in Beijing told President Joe Biden those who played with fire would “perish” by it, CNN reported. Pelosi went to Taiwan anyway, and she said the visit would make America’s support for Taiwan “unequivocally clear.”
China responded by launching military drills in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan, cancelling phone calls between Chinese and U.S. leaders and sanctioning Pelosi.
Last week, Biden admitted he was “concerned” about the Chinese military drills near Taiwan.
“I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript. “But I don’t think they’re going to do anything more.”
The White House also summoned China’s ambassador to condemn the Chinese military drills.
During the delegation’s visit, Markey’s representative said the delegation “will meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation, including investments in semiconductors,” CNN reported.
This is not the first time a delegation of U.S. lawmakers has made a surprise visit to Taiwan.
According to Fox News, a similar group including Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska landed in Taiwan in April.
As of Sunday, China had not responded to the news of the delegation landing in Taiwan. It remains to be seen whether the visit will further strain relations between Washington, D.C., and Beijing.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.