By Spy Uganda Correspondent
US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Sunday (Aug 14) for a two-day visit during which they will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level group to come amid continued military tensions with China.
Beijing has been holding military drills around the island to express its anger at this month’s visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan’s presidential office said the group would meet Tsai on Monday morning.
“The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” the de facto US embassy said.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry published pictures of four of the group being met at Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport having arrived on a US air force transport jet, while Markey arrived at the Taoyuan international airport.
Markey chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee. The co-leaders of the visit are Representative John Garamendi of the congressional Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group and Representative Don Beyer, a spokesperson for Markey said.
Markey’s office said the lawmakers “will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, US-China Joint Communiques, and Six Assurances, and will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry hailed the delegation’s visit as another sign of warm ties between Taipei and Washington.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its sincere welcome (to the delegation),” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
“As China is continuing to escalate tensions in the region, the US Congress has again organised a heavyweight delegation to visit Taiwan, showing a friendship that is not afraid of China’s threats and intimidation, and highlighting the US’ strong support towards Taiwan.”
After meeting Tsai, the delegation will attend a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, the ministry added.
“The two sides will extensively exchange views on issues such as Taiwan-US security and trade relations.”
While China’s drills around Taiwan have abated, it is still carrying out military activities.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said on Sunday it had detected 22 Chinese aircraft and six naval ships in and around the Taiwan Strait.