US lawmakers arrive in Taiwan amid rising tensions with China

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A delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a two-day trip during which they will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level group to visit the island in amid heightened military tensions with China.

Beijing, which claims a democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, held military exercises around the island to express anger over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is led by Senator Ed Markey, who is accompanied by four lawmakers from the House of Representatives, in what it described as part of a broader visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

Taiwan’s presidential office said the group will meet with Tsai on Monday morning.

“Especially at a time when China is raising tensions across the Taiwan Strait and in the region with military exercises, Markey’s leading a delegation to visit Taiwan demonstrates once again the strong support of the United States Congress for Taiwan,” he said in a statement.

Markey chairs the Senate East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Foreign Relations Subcommittee. Co-leaders of the visit are Rep. John Garamendi, of the Congressional Task Force on Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control, and Rep. Don Beyer, a spokesman for Markey said.

China’s embassy in Washington said on Sunday that “US members of Congress should act consistent with the US government’s one-China policy,” arguing that the latest visit “demonstrates once again that the United States does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Strait and has been unrelenting in its efforts to stir up the confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs.

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Markey’s office said lawmakers “will reaffirm US support for Taiwan, as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the US-China Joint Communiqués, and the Six Assurances, and promote stability and peace.” in the Taiwan Strait.

The group will 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,” Markey’s office said. .

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry released footage of four members of the group being greeted at Songshan Airport in central Taipei after arriving on a US Air Force transport plane, while Markey arrived at Taiwan International Airport. Taoyuan.

“The delegation will meet with senior Taiwanese leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual concern,” the embassy said. actual American.

Although China’s maneuvers around Taiwan have subsided, it continues to carry out military activities.

Eleven Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line of the strait or entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said. Thirteen planes crossed the strait on Saturday, according to the ministry.

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