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US lawmakers visit Taiwan after Pelosi trip draws China’s ire

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) is welcomed by Taiwanese Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui, right, at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. (Taiwan Foreign Ministry/Handout/TNS)
August 15, 2022

A U.S. congressional delegation led by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., landed in Taiwan Sunday for a two-day visit, a trip that risks keeping tensions with China high after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went earlier this month.

The delegation will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu and local lawmakers, according to a foreign ministry statement.

They will discuss bilateral relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest, the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy, said separately.

Along with Markey, the delegation includes U.S. Reps. John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal, both of California, and Don Beyer of Virginia, all Democrats, along with Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa, a Republican.

Pelosi’s stopover in Taiwan drew a strong response from China, which conducted its most provocative military drills in decades in the wake of her visit. Beijing denounced the trip as a violation of the U.S. pledge decades ago not to formally recognize the government of Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.

While she was the highest ranking U.S. official to make it Taiwan in a quarter century, visits by other members of Congress are common. During her meeting with the Taiwanese leader, Pelosi noted that several U.S. senators, including the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat Bob Menendez, had visited this year without drawing a firestorm of criticism from Beijing.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Chinese President Xi Jinping told his counterpart Joe Biden shortly before Pelosi’s visit that her trip would bring unspecified consequence, but also said he has no intention to go to war with the U.S.


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