A United States congressional delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey arrived in Taipei as part of a two-day unannounced visit. This month, it is the second U.S. congressional delegation to visit Taiwan. In addition, Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, became the first U.S. speaker in twenty-five years to visit Taiwan during particularly strained relations between Beijing and Washington.
It is the second high-level delegation to travel to Taiwan during escalating military tensions between Taiwan and mainland China after a delegation of US lawmakers arrived on Sunday. They will meet Taiwan’s President during their two-day visit.#taiwan #USDelegation #Pelosi pic.twitter.com/3FdSnCCAOU
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) August 15, 2022
According to Markey’s spokesman, during their visit to Taiwan, the five-member delegation hopes to reaffirm and boost stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait. The statement added three Democratic members of Congress to the panel, such as Alan Lowenthal, John Garamendi, and Don Beyer, along with GOP Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.
During their visit, the group will meet Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, and Joseph Wu, the foreign minister. Additionally, the Taiwanese National Defense committee of the parliament and Foreign Affairs will discuss trade and security issues, according to Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry. In addition, the foreign ministry expressed its sincere welcome to the delegation and expressed gratitude that the United States would remain supportive of Taiwan despite growing tensions with Beijing.
The Agenda of the Delegation
Senators’ spokesman says that the delegation will meet with elected leaders and private sector members to discuss common interests, such as easing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and increasing economic cooperation, including semiconductor investments. According to the latest statement from the Chinese Embassy in Washington issued Sunday, China will take tenacious countermeasures in response to the provocations of the United States.
Liu Pengyu, an embassy spokesperson, wrote on Twitter that members of Congress should follow the one-China policy of the United States government. According to Liu, China is opposed to official relations between Taiwan and the U.S. The latest congressional delegation visit has demonstrated that Washington doesn’t wish to see stability across the Taiwan Straits and is actively trying to inflame the conflict between both sides and interfere in Chinese internal affairs.
Members of the US Congress should act in consistence with the US government’s one-China policy. The US side should abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, stop official exchanges with Taiwan.
— Liu Pengyu 刘鹏宇 (@SpoxCHNinUS) August 14, 2022
The Chinese Communist Party, which rules China, views Taiwan as part of its territory, despite never being under its control. It has long promised to “reunify” the island with the mainland by force if necessary. China repeatedly warned Pelosi’s visit would bring consequences if it went ahead — even warning United States President Joe Biden that those who play with fire will perish. During the Taiwan official trip, Pelosi said that the visit aimed to make it unambiguously clear that Washington would not abandon the island.
Chinese Response to Nancy Taiwan Visit
Beijing launched military drills after Nancy’s visit, the Chinese Defense Ministry said. Moreover, the exercises focused on Taiwan’s seas and airspace. China has also suspended bilateral climate dialogs with the U.S., canceled future phone calls between Chinese and United States defense leaders, and sanctioned House Speaker and her close family members.
Chinese ambassador has been summoned to the White House, where he has been asked to condemn the military activities and stress the U.S.’ commitment to avoiding a regional crisis. But, as far as Washington is concerned, there has been no change in the “One China” policy, and it recognizes China’s sole legitimate government as the People’s Republic of China.