A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-Zamkuwire - Zamkuwire.com

A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-Zamkuwire

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A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that prompted China to launch days of threatening military drills around the self-governing island that Beijing says must come under its control.

The five-member delegation, led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will meet President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials, as well as members of the private sector, to discuss shared interests including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and investments in semiconductors.

China responded to Pelosi’s Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and skies around Taiwan for several days afterward. The Chinese government objects to Taiwan having any official contact with foreign governments, particularly with a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi.

A Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a U.S. government plane landing about 7 p.m. Sunday at Songshan Airport in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital. Four members of the delegation were on the plane.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from left, U.S. Democratic House members John Garamendi shakes hands with Donald Yu-Tien Hsu, Director-General, dept. of North American Affairs, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs after arriving on a U.S. government plane at Songshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday, Aug 14, 2022. The delegation of American lawmakers are visiting Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

 

Markey met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier Sunday in South Korea before arriving in Taiwan on a separate flight at Taoyuan International Airport, which also serves Taipei. Markey, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, and members of the delegation will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan.

The other members of the delegation are Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, and Democratic House members John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California and Don Beyer from Virginia.

Chinese warplanes have continued crossing the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis even after the conclusion of the military exercises last Wednesday, with at least 10 doing so on Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.

The 10 fighter jets were among 22 Chinese military aircraft and six naval ships detected in the area around Taiwan by 5 p.m. on Sunday, the ministry said on its Twitter account.

A senior White House official on Asia policy said late last week that China had used Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to launch an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from left, U.S. Democratic House member Alan Lowenthal from California, Democratic House members John Garamendi, Donald Yu-Tien Hsu, Director-General, dept. of North American Affairs, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democratic House member Don Beyer from Virginia and Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa pose for a photo after arriving on a U.S. government plane at Songshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday, Aug 14, 2022. The delegation of American lawmakers are visiting Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

FILE - Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., speaks at the 23rd Annual Lake Tahoe Summit, at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Aug. 20, 2019. A delegation of American lawmakers, including Garamendi, is visiting Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. China responded to Pelosi's visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and air around Taiwan. The five-member delegation is led by Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and is in Taiwan on Sunday and Monday. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)FILE - Taiwan Air Force Mirage fighter jets taxi on a runway at an airbase in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. China on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, renewed its threat to attack Taiwan following almost a week of wargames near the island. Taiwan has called Beijing's claims to the self-governing democracy “wishful thinking" and launched its own military exercises. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai, File)

“China has overreacted, and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing, and unprecedented,” Kurt Campbell, a deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, said on a call with reporters.

“It has sought to disregard the centerline between the P.R.C. and Taiwan, which has been respected by both sides for more than 60 years as a stabilizing feature,” he said, using the acronym for the country’s full name, the People’s Republic of China.

China accuses the U.S. of encouraging independence forces in Taiwan through its sale of military equipment to the island and engaging with its officials. The U.S. says it does not support independence for Taiwan but that its differences with China should be resolved by peaceful means.

China’s ruling Communist Party has long said that it favors Taiwan joining China peacefully but that it will not rule out force if necessary. The two split in 1949 during a civil war in which the Communists took control of China and the losing Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan.

Campbell, speaking on Friday, said the U.S. would send warships and planes through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks and is developing a roadmap for trade talks with Taiwan that he said the U.S. intends to announce in the coming days.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts at left, poses for photos with, Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui after arriving at Taoyuan international airport near Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday, Aug 14, 2022. Markey is leading a delegation of American lawmakers visiting Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)FILE - Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget in Washington, on April 26, 2022. A delegation of American lawmakers is visiting Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. China responded to Pelosi's visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and air around Taiwan. The five-member delegation is led by Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and is in Taiwan on Sunday and Monday. (Al Drago/Pool Photo via AP)

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