On Sunday (14 Aug), five United States lawmakers landed in Taiwan, just 12 days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit triggered a wave of military and economic moves from China.
The delegation, led by Senator Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, received a warm welcome from Taiwanese officials.
They flew in from South Korea, where Senator Markey had met South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol early Sunday morning.
Reports mentioned that the trip was apparently planned months ago.
China has also announced more military exercises in response, with the first one taking place today.
The delegation will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest, according to a statement by the American Institute in Taiwan.
Four delegates were warmly welcomed by vice minister of foreign affairs Alexander Yui at Songshan airport, while Senator Markey was received at Taoyuan international airport.
The foreign ministry tweeted,
We thank the like-minded US lawmakers for the timely visit & unwavering support.
Pelosi’s trip raised significant tensions between China, the US, and Taiwan, and led China to conduct military exercises surrounding Taiwan.
However, the Chinese foreign ministry is yet to comment on the latest trip as of the time of writing.
State-run Chinese media outlet Global Times reported on the visit as “provoking tensions”, and it promised “firm countermeasures” in response.
Sanctions on the visiting lawmakers are expected, the article said.
“No forces should ever underestimate China’s determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it quoted unnamed analysts as saying.
Additionally, the Ministry of Defence announced more military exercises following news of the lawmakers’ visit.
The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command organised multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Monday as a “stern deterrent”, Reuters reported.
China maintains its ‘One China’ policy, stating Taiwan is a breakaway province.
But Taiwan has its own elected president, economy, and passport, among other features of an independent state.
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Featured image adapted from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan on Twitter.
Two residents sustained minor cuts & received prompt medical treatment.
Free bubble tea and ramen while working too.
The traffic police officer wasn't pleased with what the driver did.
Perhaps wait to travel during the non-peak period?
NParks also reminded the public not to handle injured wild animals on their own.
Get ready for a whale of a time.