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Congressional Delegation Lands In Taiwan After Pelosi Visit Rankled China

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A group of American lawmakers has landed in Taiwan after House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi visited the territory to the chagrin of China.

The delegation, led by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, arrived in Taipei for a two day visit, CNN reported.

The group of five Congressmembers said that their trip is an effort to “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan” and “will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” a spokesperson for the senator said.

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The spokesperson 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.”

The group included three more Democrats, Reps. John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal and Don Beyer, and Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.

The group led by Markey will meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu during the visit, and will also hold discussions with the Taiwanese parliament’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense committee on security and trade issues, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The foreign ministry added that it sincerely welcomed the delegation, and thanked them for demonstrating the US’ strong support toward Taiwan despite escalating tensions with Beijing.

After the trip, Speaker Pelosi issued a press release saying that her trip did not contradict the United States’ policy towards China and Taiwan.

“Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy,” the Speaker said.

“Our visit is part of our broader trip to the Indo-Pacific — including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan — focused on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance.  Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” she said.

“Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances.  The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo,” she said.

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Republican Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was among 26 Senate Republicans who signed a letter supporting the Speaker’s visit to Taiwan.

“We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan,” they said.

“For decades, members of the United States Congress, including previous Speakers of the House, have traveled to Taiwan. This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed. We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act.”

But the communist Chinese military vowed, and did, “targeted military actions” after the Speaker’s visit.

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“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist attempts,” defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement condemning the visit,” Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command, said, The Hindustan Times reported.

Separately, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said it will conduct joint military operations near Taiwan from Tuesday night, and will test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.

“This action is targeted at the US’s shocking recent major escalation on the Taiwan issue and serves as a serious warning to Taiwanese independence forces or those seeking independence,” he said.

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Taiwan announced on Tuesday morning that it was hit with a cyberattack and threatened by Chinese warplanes flying near its boundary in the Taiwan Straight as China is not happy about Pelosi’s visit.

“Taiwanese authorities confirmed Tuesday that the Office of the President’s website fell victim to an overseas cyberattack that caused the site to be down for 20 minutes, according to local reporters. The president’s office reportedly confirmed that Tuesday’s attack traffic was 200 times that of a normal day,” Fox News reported.

“The culprit behind the attack has not yet been revealed but came just hours before Chinese warplanes flew close to the unofficial dividing line that separates the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan. Chinese planes reportedly engaged in tactical moves and repeatedly “touched” the aerial boundaries before and circling back to the other side of the strait, first reported Reuters. On Monday China also sent warships near the unofficial boundary one day ahead of Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan,” the outlet added.

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