Congressmen from US meet Taiwan politicians as tensions with China rise

Beijing, Feb 20 (EFE).- A delegation from the United States Congress met with Taiwanese lawmakers in Taipei on Monday as part of a five-day visit to the self-governed island amid renewed tensions with China over a suspected spy balloon.

Representative Ro Khanna is leading the bipartisan congressional delegation that arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and was scheduled to meet with Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s president, and other officials.

The visit is intended to strengthen ties between Silicon Valley and Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, as Washington and Taipei seek to boost their security and economic partnership.

Before his visit, Khanna said he looked forward to learning more about Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

“As a co-author of the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022), the Taiwanese semiconductor industry is critical to my district,” he said.

Taiwan has previously wowed to create a global supply chain for semiconductors in cooperation with its “democratic allies.”

Taiwanese President Tsai has said the island was willing to use its competitive advantages in advanced semiconductor manufacturing to assist the world in optimizing semiconductor supply chain reconfiguration.

Khanna said he would “affirm the One China policy” during his Taiwan trip and “make clear we want to do everything we can to deter a military conflict.”

The Democrat representative is a member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the US and China.

He is also on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems (CITI).

A Taiwanese foreign ministry statement issued on Sunday said the visiting Congress members will meet with President Tsai and senior government officials to discuss ways of enhancing security cooperation and the economic and trade ties between the two sides.

The American delegation is also scheduled to meet with local business representatives to discuss cooperation in business and technology, said the foreign ministry.

The visit comes days after the US military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic, leading Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a high-profile visit to Beijing.

It is the second delegation of US lawmakers to visit Taiwan since the formation of the new congress following the mid-term elections in November.

Republican senator from Indiana Todd Young visited in January.

A trip to Taiwan by then-US house speaker Nancy Pelosi infuriated China and spiked tensions between Washington and Beijing.

In response to Pelosi’s trip, China imposed sanctions on the politician, suspended dialog with the US on several critical areas, and carried out military drills in the Taiwan Strait.

China considers Taiwan a broke-away province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists. EFE


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