WASHINGTON – Five US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Thursday to meet with government officials, defying an admonition from Beijing to stay away from the democratic island.
“When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office received a blunt message from the Chinese embassy telling me to stop traveling,” Rep. Alyssa Slotkin, D-Mich., wrote on twitter, “The auto industry’s largest supplier of microchips is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will definitely be on the agenda.”
The Chinese embassy in Washington, DC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The bipartisan delegation, led Thursday by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., included fellow panel members Slotkin and Reps. Colin Allred, D-Texas and Nancy Mays, R.C., as well as Rep. Sarah Jacobs, D-California., according to Reuters, who first reported the trip.
US support US-China relations have been strained for Taiwan’s military and in recent years the escalation of informal ties with Taiwan. China claims Taiwan and does not maintain official relations with countries that recognize the autonomous island as an independent nation. As a result, the U.S. Doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan, nor does it maintain an embassy there.
Nevertheless, the US has upgraded its relationship with Taiwan over the past several years, including through a consular agreement, continued support for Taiwan’s security, and visits by US officials. One earlier journey The Chinese response was led by members of Congress with military exercises near Taiwan.
America’s approach to China’s relations with Taiwan is one of “strategic ambiguity” Which is designed to leave open the question of how Washington will respond to a Chinese attack or siege on Taiwan. President Joe Biden told a CNN town hall meeting in October that the US would defend Taiwan against attack, but the White House quickly clarified that there was no change in US policy.
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