Second Group of US Lawmakers Visits Taiwan

Five more U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday just days after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) contingent enraged China and led to aggressive military drills. The government in Beijing considers the island part of China and believes it must be reunited.

China objects to any visits by high-ranking officials from other countries to Taiwan, as well as formal diplomatic ties.

The unannounced junket was led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and the delegation met with Taiwanese officials throughout the day. Besides sitting with President Tsai Ing-wen, partnerships in semiconductor manufacturing were also discussed.

Accompanying Markey were Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA), Alan Lowenthan (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Amata Radewagen, a Republican representing American Samoa. Markey met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier Sunday before arriving in Taipei.

China emphatically believes the self-governed island is merely a breakaway region that will be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary. As its economic and military might has grown, its stance has become more aggressive.

The five-member delegation landed 12 days after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and China then rolled out an angry response. The Aug. 2 trip was followed by warships, missiles, and warplanes conducting live fire exercises around the island in a manner that became a temporary blockade.

Even since the official exercises ended last Wednesday, Chinese planes continue to cross the midway point of the Taiwan Strait. These acts may only be seen as provocative as that unofficial line had previously been respected by both sides.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that around 5 p.m. local time Sunday there were six Chinese ships and 22 military aircraft around the island.

Taiwan responded by carrying out its own exercises immediately after Pelosi’s visit to show it is ready to defend itself from Chinese military action.

The communist government implored the U.S. to stand by its recognition of the “One China” policy. This states that the U.S. recognizes that the mainland People’s Republic is the only government of China, though it allows for informal ties with Taiwan.