TAIPEI, Taiwan (CNN) — A US congressional delegation led by Senator Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, arrived in Taipei on an unannounced two-day visit, the second US congressional delegation to Taiwan this month.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy PelosiHe drew China’s ire by becoming the first person to visit the island in 25 years at a time when relations between Washington and Beijing have been particularly tense.
A new five-member delegation is visiting the self-governing island to “reaffirm America’s support for Taiwan” and “promote stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Markey’s spokesman said in a statement.
The delegation includes Democratic Reps. John Karamendi, Alan Lowenthal and Don Beyer, and Republican Rep. Amua Amata Coleman Radevagen.
During the trip, the Marqui-led delegation will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and hold talks with the Foreign Affairs and National Security Committee of Taiwan’s parliament on security and trade-related issues, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry added that it warmly welcomed and thanked the delegation for expressing strong US support for Taiwan despite rising tensions with Beijing.
A spokesman for the senator said he would “meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions across the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation, including investments in semiconductors.”
China responded to the visit by saying it would take “resolute countermeasures in response to US provocations” in a statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Washington on Sunday.
“Members of the US Congress must act in accordance with the US government’s one-China policy,” embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said on Twitter.
China firmly opposes any form of official contact between the US and Taiwan, and Liu said the recent visit by a congressional delegation “demonstrates that the US does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Strait”. Conflict between the two sides and interference in China’s internal affairs.
China’s ruling Communist Party considers Taiwan part of it, and while it has never taken control of it, it has long vowed to “reunite” the island with mainland China by force if necessary. Before Pelosi’s visit, Beijing had repeatedly warned of dire consequences if the trip continued, going so far as to warn US President Joe Biden that those playing with fire would “doom” for it.
During her trip to Taiwan, Pelosi, a California Democrat, said she intended to make clear “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that the United States “will not abandon” the democratically-ruled island.
In response to the House speaker’s visit, China’s defense ministry says it has begun exercises in the seas and airspace around Taiwan. In addition to the drills, Beijing canceled future phone calls between Chinese and US defense chiefs, halted bilateral climate talks and Allowed Pelosi and her immediate family.
The White House has summoned China’s ambassador to condemn the military action and underscore America’s desire to avoid a crisis in the region. The White House has said there is no change in America’s “one China” policy, and that Washington recognizes the PRC as China’s sole legitimate government.
The United States maintains close unofficial relations with Taiwan and is required by law to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. But he remains deliberately vague about whether he will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a practice known as “strategic ambiguity.”
CNN’s Daniela Diaz, Jeremy Herb, Wayne Chang and Rhea Mogul contributed to this report.
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