US congressmen praise Taiwan’s democracy on visit that will draw Chinese scrutiny

2024-02-22 08:22:02

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A group of U.S. congresswomen met with Taiwan’s president Thursday in a show of support that is sure to attract the attention of China, which opposes such visits and sees them as a challenge to its claims of sovereignty over the island.

Two years ago, a visit to Taiwan by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prompted China to send military ships and planes around the self-ruled democratic island, and fire ballistic missiles into nearby waters.

In a meeting Thursday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Rep. Mike Gallagher, Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, highlighted bipartisan support for the Taiwan-U.S. alliance, which he described as “stronger and more solid than ever.”

Like most countries, the United States does not officially recognize Taiwan as a country, but it maintains good informal relations with the island and is obligated by its own laws to provide it with the weapons it needs to defend itself.

Gallagher thanked Tsai, who is nearing the end of her second and final term, for her leadership in Taiwan and for distinguishing herself “as a leader of the free world.”

Tsai thanked the United States for its continued help in helping Taiwan strengthen its defense capabilities.

“Together we safeguard freedom and democracy and maintain regional peace,” he said, before adding that he hoped to see more exchanges between the United States and Taiwan in various fields.

The delegation, led by Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., was scheduled to spend three days in Taiwan as part of a broader tour of the Indo-Pacific region. Also part of the delegation were Representatives John Moolenaar, Republican of Michigan, Dusty Johnson, Republican of South Dakota, and Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts.

The delegation, which brings together some of China’s biggest critics in Congress, hoped to meet with other Taiwanese leaders and members of civil society to discuss US-Taiwan relations, trade and regional security, among other issues of mutual interest. .

The demonstrations of support for Taiwan reflect the growing willingness of many congressmen to confront China on various issues at a time when economic relations between the two countries deteriorate.

___

Freking reported from Washington.

1708590610
#congressmen #praise #Taiwans #democracy #visit #draw #Chinese #scrutiny

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.