U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Taiwan Following the Island’s Election

US Congressional Delegation Travels to Taiwan After Island’s Election

On Wednesday, the co-chairs of the U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus initiated the inaugural visit by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan, where the Democratic Progressive Party, leaning towards independence, secured a third consecutive term in the recent presidential elections.

Representatives Ami Bera, a Democrat from California, and Mario Díaz-Balart, a Republican from Florida, intend to “engage with senior officials and business leaders” during the trip, as stated by Bera’s office. The statement did not specify the individuals they plan to meet.

The primary objectives of the visit include reaffirming U.S. support for Taiwan after the successful democratic elections, expressing solidarity in their shared commitment to democratic values, and exploring opportunities to strengthen the robust economic and defense relationship between the United States and Taiwan.

U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Taiwan Following the Island's Election
U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Taiwan Following the Island’s Election (Credits: DW)

China, positioned as America’s chief global competitor, asserts sovereignty over Taiwan and threatens to use force to bring it under its control. The election of Taiwan’s current Vice President, Lai Ching-te, as the leader, has drawn strong condemnation from Beijing.

China appears set to continue its policy of not engaging with Taiwan’s government, a stance adopted after the election of the Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.

Beijing strongly opposes any official contact between the U.S. and Taiwan. In response to a 2022 visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China conducted significant military maneuvers, including missile launches and a simulated blockade of the island. Foreign government officials’ visits are perceived by Beijing as an acknowledgment of the island’s sovereignty.

President Joe Biden has sought to address these concerns, affirming the continuity of America’s longstanding “one-China policy,” recognizing Beijing while maintaining informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. Despite formal diplomatic relations being severed in 1979, U.S. law mandates support for Taiwan’s defense and treats external threats as a matter of grave concern.

While China routinely deploys warplanes and navy ships to intimidate Taiwan, there was no noticeable increase in activity on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry reported the detection of seven Chinese warplanes and five naval vessels near the island in the previous 24 hours. Additionally, two Chinese balloons were observed over the northern and southern regions of the island, with the nature of the balloons remaining unclear.

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