New US congressional delegation travels to Taiwan amid crisis with Beijing
Washington, Aug 14 (EFE).- A delegation of five US lawmakers on Sunday traveled to Taiwan for a working tour amid the crisis with Beijing sparked by the recent visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The American Institute in Taiwan, the US representative mission in Taiwan, announced that the visit will last two days and will include meetings with Taiwanese leaders to discuss regional security and trade.
The five legislators, who are also scheduled to visit other parts of the Indo-Pacific region besides Taiwan, include Democratic Sen. Ed Markey (Massachusetts), Democratic Congressmen John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal (both of California) and Don Beyer (Virginia), and Republican Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen (American Samoa).
“The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” said the American Institute.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Aug. 2 exacerbated tensions between the US and China, which considered the move to be a show of support for the independence of the island and responded by staging live-fire military maneuvers near Taiwan and levying sanctions against Taipei.
Beijing views Taiwan, a large, self-governing island roughly 100 miles off the coast of the Chinese mainland, as a renegade territory that is an integral part of – and must be reunited with – the mainland, by force if other means prove to be unsuccessful.
Last Wednesday, in her first press conference since her visit to Taiwan, Pelosi said that the US will not allow China to isolate the island, adding that the aim of her visit was to reaffirm the “strong relationship” between Washington and Taipei.
The White House, meanwhile, has consistently sought to distance itself from Pelosi’s visit, emphasizing that it was the House speaker’s personal decision to travel to the island, and reiterated Washington’s long-standing “one China” policy.