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U.S. lawmakers meet Taiwanese president in surprise visit

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Five US lawmakers meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a surprise day-long visit to reaffirm US support for the autonomous island

By HUIZHONG WU Associated Press

November 26, 2021 10:45 a.m.

3 minutes to read

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The bipartisan group of US House of Representatives lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Thursday evening and are scheduled to meet with senior leaders, including Tsai, said the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy. . No further details were provided on their itinerary.

China was quick to condemn the trip when news broke Thursday night.

When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office received a direct message from the Chinese Embassy, ​​telling me to cancel the trip, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan who is part of the United States, wrote on Twitter. delegation.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the visit, calling it a violation of the one-China principle “under which Taiwan is considered part of China.

The fact that individual American politicians question the one-China principle and encourage the forces of “Taiwan independence” has aroused the strong indignation of 1.4 billion Chinese, “Zhao said. He added that the unification of Taiwan and China is an unstoppable historical trend.

Representatives Mark Takano, D-Calif., Colin Allred, D-Texas., Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., And Nancy Mace, RS.C., are also part of the delegation.

We are here in Taiwan this week to remind our partners and allies, after two difficult years that we have endured, that our commitment and shared responsibility for a free and secure Indo-Pacific region remains stronger than ever, ”said Takano .

Takano added that the relationship between the United States and Taiwan is strong and has remained steadfast as the ties between us have deepened.

Tsai, who hosted lawmakers at the presidential office in Taipei, noted the cooperation of the two sides in veterans affairs, economic issues and trade while reiterating the islands’ close alignment with the United States.

Taiwan will continue to intensify cooperation with the United States to uphold our common values ​​of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region, Tsai said.

This is the third visit by US lawmakers to Taiwan this year and comes just weeks after a group of six Republican members of Congress visited the island. This delegation met with President Tsai, Secretary General for National Security Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, among others.

In June, three members of Congress traveled to Taiwan to donate much-needed vaccines at a time when the island was struggling to get enough of it.

The Biden administration also invited Taiwan to a democracy summit next month, a move that drew a sharp rebuke from China.

In Solomon Islands this week, anti-government rioters staged protests and looted parts of the capital in part over complaints about a 2019 decision to transfer diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. China has waged a campaign to poach Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies.

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