Photo Credit: Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Another group of senior US officials paid a visit to Taiwan. Only a few weeks had passed since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unexpected trip to the island nation with Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey leading the legislative delegation on their journey to Taiwan.
It could be recalled how Pelosi’s unexpected visit to Taiwan and the meeting with the president and parliamentarians there caused China to raise its eyebrow. Pelosi’s trip was the first official US visit to the nation in 25 years. China then indicated its concern and increased its military presence and operations close to Taiwan.
Experts predict that although the visitation will harm relations between Washington and Beijing, it will cause greater conflict between China and Taiwan. Since then, China has placed trade restrictions on Taiwanese imports and exports to indicate their displeasure with Taiwan’s affability toward US officials.
And now, in an unprecedented move, a number of US Congressmen have addressed a second note to both China and Taiwan. On the other hand, a show of unity, and on the other, potential disagreement.
The delegation was made up of five lawmakers, including Democratic Reps. John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal, Don Beyer, and Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen. According to them, the trip to Taiwan is intended to “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan” and “will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
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What the lawmakers came to Taiwan for
To discuss problems of national defense, Senator Markey and his colleagues would meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The committee on security and trade issues, as well as Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu, would be present at the meeting. Hopefully, the discussions will strengthen the island’s national defense and foreign policy.
“In such uncertain times, we have to exert more efforts to ensure Taiwan’s peace and stability. We have a moral obligation to actively prevent any unnecessary conflicts. In responding to this greatest challenge, Taiwan showed unbelievable restraint and discretion,” Markey said.
The group would be more than delighted to welcome US officials to the country, according to Taiwan’s foreign ministry, which expressed happiness at the visit. In addition, the ministry expressed gratitude to the group for demonstrating US support for Taiwan as tensions escalated with China.
Senator Markey’s spokesperson told the press that the five-member group “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.”
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China is not amenable to the arrangement
China retaliated quickly against the US and Taiwan during Pelosi’s visit. Nothing has changed this time. Chinese Embassy in Washington spokeswoman Liu Pengyu stated in a statement, “Members of the US Congress should act in consistence with the US government’s one-China policy. [China] “firmly opposes any kind of official ties [between the US and Taiwan. It] “proves that the US does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Straits and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
In retaliation for Pelosi’s visit, China already imposed trade restrictions on Taiwan and upped its military deployment in the region closest to the island. With this new development, this might also happen and possibly get worse.
Taiwan wants to thank the US for its support
Taiwanese President Tsai said in a statement, “Taiwan not only worked closely with our international friends, keeping close tabs on all military movements around us, but also kept conveying to the world our resolve to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan strait.”
“[Taiwan wishes to] further deepen our cooperation with the US and jointly maintain prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. In the face of global authoritarian expansionism, Taiwan also wishes to deepen trade relations with like-minded democracies and create a more resilient supply chain.”