Bipartisan lawmakers meet Taiwan President during surprise one-day visit in defiance of China

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  • Four Democrats and one Republican descended on Taiwan on Thursday in what they said was a show of support
  • Taiwan has been self-governing since the two sides separated during a civil war in 1949, but China considers the island to be part of its territory.
  • His visit is the third by US politicians this year, and has angered China
  • On Friday, he met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen

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Five US lawmakers met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday morning in a surprise one-day visit aimed at reaffirming the United States’ ‘rock solid’ support for the self-governing island – one of five One later said the president was a ‘kick-a**’.

The bipartisan group of US House of Representatives lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night and was planning to meet senior leaders, including Tsai, the US institution in Taiwan, the de facto embassy, ​​said.

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No further details were given about his itinerary.

Democrat Alyssa Slotkin of Michigan tweeted: ‘I’m in the middle of my trip to Taiwan and it’s very clear: this place is growing. The people’s grit and determination, led by their dynamic (apparently, kicking) president, is downright inspiring—and I don’t get inspired easily. Democratic values ​​still and always matter.’

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Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s President since 2016, met with a group of lawmakers on Friday

The visit comes at a time when tensions between Taiwan and China have reached their highest level in decades.

Taiwan has been self-governing since the two sides separated during a civil war in 1949, but China considers the island to be part of its territory.

“When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office got a clear message from the Chinese embassy asking me to stop traveling,” Representative Alyssa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan, said.

He was accompanied by three other Democrats – Mark Takano and Sarah Jacobs of California and Colin Allred of Texas – and a Republican, Nancy Mays of South Carolina.

Nancy Mays, the only Republican out of five delegates, is pictured at an election night party in November 2020.  He and the other four arrived in Taiwan on Thursday

Nancy Mays, the only Republican out of five delegates, is pictured at an election night party in November 2020. He and the other four arrived in Taiwan on Thursday

Takano said, “We are in Taiwan this week to remind our allies and allies, after two years of effort that we have endured, that our commitment and shared responsibility for a free and secure Indo-Pacific region Stronger than ever.”

Takano said US ties with Taiwan “are rock solid and our ties have remained stable as we deepen.”

Tsai, who welcomed lawmakers and the AIT director to the presidential office in Taipei, noted the cooperation of both sides in veterans’ affairs, economic issues and trade, while reiterating the island’s close alignment with the US.

“Taiwan will continue to increase cooperation with the United States to uphold our shared values ​​of freedom and democracy, and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” Tsai said.

This is the third visit by US lawmakers to Taiwan this year and comes just weeks after a group of six Republican members of Congress visited the island.

That delegation met with President Tsai, Secretary General of National Security Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, among others.

In June, three members of Congress went to Taiwan to donate badly needed vaccines at a time when the island was struggling to get enough.

The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to a summit of democracy next month, a move that has been strongly rebuked by China.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday: ‘What America has done proves that so-called democracy is for it to pursue geopolitical goals, suppress other countries, divide the world, serve its interests. And it’s just an excuse and a tool to keep it up. Hegemony in the world.’

Five of Thanksgiving serves lunch to some of the 28,000 American soldiers stationed in South Korea before leaving for Taiwan.

Mays tweeted, “It was fun serving our soldiers today.

‘Many of our soldiers have not been able to go home or their families have visited them since the onset of COVID. It is incredibly important to extend a heartfelt thank you to our men and women in uniform.’

The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Takano, California, was among the politicians who helped scoop food onto soldiers’ plates and tossed a football with them.

Republican Representative Nancy Mays (right) joins four Democrats in a tour of three East Asian countries, including South Korea, where she helped serve food to US soldiers on Thanksgiving.

Republican Representative Nancy Mays (right) joins four Democrats in a tour of three East Asian countries, including South Korea, where she helped serve food to US soldiers on Thanksgiving.

Representative Colin Allred is seen tossing a football with a US military during a visit to South Korea

Representative Colin Allred is seen tossing a football with a US military during a visit to South Korea

Representative Sarah Jacobs feeds soldiers before delegation to Taiwan

Representative Sarah Jacobs feeds soldiers before delegation to Taiwan

California's Democratic Rep.  Mark Takano, Republican Rep. of South Carolina.  Nancy Mays and Democratic Rep. of California.  A group of members of Congress, including Sarah Jacobs, expressed gratitude to US soldiers on Twitter and personally commended them for serving the deployed US soldiers.  in south korea

California’s Democratic Rep. Mark Takano, Republican Rep. of South Carolina. Nancy Mays and Democratic Rep. of California. A group of members of Congress, including Sarah Jacobs, expressed gratitude to US soldiers on Twitter and personally commended them for serving the deployed US soldiers. in south korea

“We are grateful for their service and for the opportunity to show them our immense appreciation for everything they do every day,” Takano tweeted.

Democratic Representative Sarah Jacobs of California said she was honored to help feed the soldiers.

“We ask military families a lot, especially during COVID,” she tweeted. ‘Without being unable to go home to see the family, I felt it was important to be here and am grateful for the opportunity to show my gratitude to them.’

Earlier this week, the delegation first met with special forces and South Korean officials to discuss maintaining stability in the region.

The visit included a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has served as a buffer between North and South Korea since the Korean War and was famously visited by then-President Donald Trump, Kim Jong Jong. Had crossed the border into North Korea to meet him. Un.

This was preceded by a trip to Okinawa, Japan, where lawmakers met with military commanders to learn more about veterans and overseas health care.

A congressional report released earlier this month showed Chinese forces were reaching their ability to occupy the island.

‘PLA’ [People’s Liberation Army] According to a report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congress-appointed agency designated to provide national security and economic capabilities needed to conduct air and naval blockades, cyberattacks and missile strikes against Taiwan. already achieved. Advice to Congress and the President.

‘PLA leaders can now assess whether they have the necessary initial capability to conduct a high-risk invasion of Taiwan, or soon will, if ordered to do so by CCP leaders. They will continue to enhance this capacity in the years to come.

Soldiers carrying machine guns and grenades take part in a military exercise simulating an invasion from China

Soldiers carrying machine guns and grenades take part in a military exercise simulating an invasion from China

US-made fighter jet ignited flames during drill in Taiwan

US-made fighter jet ignited flames during drill in Taiwan

China regards Taiwan as nothing more than an uncontrolled expansion of mainland territory.

The US recognized the autonomy of insular democracy until 1979, but the two countries still have “strong informal ties”.

The White House has sent out confusing messages on its policy towards Taiwan, with President Biden previously saying the US had a duty to “absolutely” defend the island if attacked.

Hours later, the president’s press shop made a statement that while there had been no policy change, the US was still adhering to the Taiwan Relations Act’s policy of strategic ambiguity.

Biden had previously told the crowd that he had made little progress to stop China’s encroachment on Taiwan, but wings were broken when he used the word ‘independence’ in Beijing.

President and First Lady Jill Biden also paid tribute to the soldiers on Thanksgiving.

The couple visited US Coast Guard Station Brent Point in Nantucket, where they held virtual calls with soldiers from around the world, and met with US Coast Guard personnel on the ground.

He also released a heartfelt video on Twitter, in which he thanked the soldiers for their service and expressed gratitude with the families who have lost their loved ones to COVID.

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