A delegation of six US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan this evening, April 14, and will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu, and Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng, tomorrow, April 15, before departing Friday.
Led by Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez (Dem. New Jersey), and Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep. South Carolina), the group includes Republican senators Richard Burr (North Carolina), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Republican representative for Texas, Ronny Jackson.
The delegation arrived at Taipei’s Songshan Airport at 7:40 pm on a US military plane. Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang said that the Presidential Office sincerely welcomes the delegation of six “heavyweight” members of congress, pointing out that the members were not only “senior in weight” but also all attach importance to Taiwan. Among the members of the delegation, senators Graham, Mennandez, Ball, and Jackson are all members of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.
“The visit not only shows the bipartisan attention and support of the US Congress to Taiwan, but also once again shows the “rock solidness” of Taiwan-US relations. The Presidential Office looks forward to continuing to deepen the Taiwan-US partnership through this face-to-face exchange, and will continue to work together to contribute to global and regional peace, stability, prosperity, and development,” Chang said.
The sudden news of the visit came just days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancelled her planned visit to Taiwan. Pelosi just happened to test positive for COVID-19 a few hours after an angry warning against the visit from Chinese Communist Party officials in Beijing. Pelosi’s proposed visit would have been the first visit by a sitting speaker to Taiwan in a quarter century, after Republican Newt Gingrich visited following Taiwan’s first democratic presidential election in 1997.
Fortunately, four days after the positive COVID test, Pelosi tested negative for the “deadly virus.” However, associate professor at the Institute of International Politics at National Chung Hsing University, Tan Wei-en, pointed out that Pelosi’s proposed visit to Taiwan aroused sensitive nerves on both sides of the strait and drew a strong response from China, and the probability of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan after her recovery is “low,” China Times reported.
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