U.S. Lawmakers Now Hyper-Focused On Taiwan’s Safety

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

(FixThisNation.com) – On Monday, a congressional delegation traveling to Taiwan to meet newly-elected Taiwan President William Lai Ching-te promised to support the island nation as its tensions with China rise.

Republican Rep. Andy Barr (Kentucky), co-chair of the Taiwan caucus, said the United States had committed to supporting Taiwan’s military both economically and diplomatically.

Barr, at a news conference in Taipei following the meeting with Lai, said there shouldn’t be “doubt” or “skepticism” that the United States has the “resolve to maintain the status quo and peace in the Taiwan Strait.”

Days before Barr’s comments, China had launched a new military exercise around Taiwan following the self-governing island swearing in Lai.

Following Lai’s inaugural address, China claimed the new leader had escalated tensions, prompting the nation to begin military drills.

Lai described the U.S. delegation’s visit as an “important gesture of solidarity” with the island nation at a crucial time.

Barr was joined by Republican Reps. Joe Wilson (South Carolina), Young Kim (California), Michael McCaul, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Democratic Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (Pennsylvania) and Jimmy Panetta. 

The U.S. congressional delegation visit comes after a military aid bill was approved to provide funds to countries that need it, including Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Also on Monday, Mao Ning, China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a press conference that the lawmakers’ visit is a signal to China, which “firmly opposes” the trip and protested the visit.

Mao shared China’s opposition to a “military contract between the U.S. and Taiwan and any attempt to arm Taiwan.”

Mao concluded by urging Congressional members to “stop playing the ‘Taiwan card'” and “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs” or supporting Taiwan’s independence and its “separatist forces” and undermining US-China relations and “cross-Strait peace and stability.”

Lai won Taiwan’s general election in January after he campaigned on forging closer relations with Washington, despite the U.S. not formally recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign nation because of the one-China policy.

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