US delegation arrives in Taiwan | News, Sports, Jobs
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A delegation of U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, just 12 days after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit prompted China to launch days of threatening military exercises around the self-governing island which Beijing says must come under its control.
The five-member delegation, led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials, as well as members of the private sector, to discuss common interests, including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and investments in semiconductors.
China responded to Pelosi’s Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes to the seas and skies around Taiwan for several days afterward. The Chinese government opposes Taiwan having official contact with foreign governments, especially with a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi.
A Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a US government plane landing around 7 p.m. Sunday at Songshan Airport in Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Four members of the delegation were on the plane.
Markey met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier Sunday in South Korea before arriving in Taiwan on a separate flight at Taoyuan International Airport, which also serves Taipei.
Markey, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, and members of the delegation will reaffirm U.S. support for Taiwan.
Other members of the delegation are Republican Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, and House Democrats John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California and Don Beyer from Virginia.
Chinese warplanes continued to cross the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait daily even after military drills ended last Wednesday, with at least 10 of them on Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.
The 10 fighter jets were among 22 Chinese military aircraft and six warships detected in the Taiwan area as of 5 p.m. Sunday, the ministry said on its Twitter account.
A senior White House Asian policy official said late last week that China had used Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to launch an escalated pressure campaign against Taiwan, jeopardizing peace and stability in the country. the Taiwan Strait and the wider region.
“China has overreacted and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented,” Kurt Campbell, deputy aide to President Joe Biden, said during a call with reporters.