Member of bipartisan US delegation says his workplace acquired ‘ blunt message’ from Chinese Embassy to name off the journey.
Five US legislators have met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in a shock one-day go to meant to reaffirm the United States’ “rock-solid” assist for the self-governing island.
The bipartisan group of legislators from the US House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night time and have been planning to satisfy senior leaders together with Tsai, mentioned the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto embassy. No additional particulars have been supplied about their itinerary.
The assembly on Friday morning comes as tensions between Taiwan and China have risen to their highest stage in a long time. China considers the self-ruled island as a part of its personal territory.
“When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office received a blunt message from the Chinese Embassy, telling me to call off the trip,” Representative Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich, who’s a part of the delegation, wrote on Twitter.
Representatives Mark Takano, D-Calif, Colin Allred, D-Texas, Sara Jacobs, D-Calif, and Nancy Mace, R-S-C, are additionally a part of the visiting delegation.
“We are here in Taiwan this week to remind our partners and allies, after two trying years that we’ve endured, that our commitment and shared responsibility for a free and secure Indo-Pacific region remain stronger than ever,” mentioned Takano.
Takano added that the US relationship with Taiwan is “rock solid and has remained steadfast as the ties between us have deepened”.
Tsai, who welcomed the legislators and the AIT director on the Presidential Office in Taipei, famous the 2 sides’ cooperation in veterans’ affairs, financial points and commerce whereas reiterating the island’s shut alignment with the US.
“Taiwan will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” Tsai mentioned.
The go to is the third by US legislators to Taiwan this yr and comes only a few weeks after a bunch of six Republican members of Congress visited the island.
That delegation met with President Tsai, National Security Secretary-General Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, amongst others.
In June, three members of Congress flew to Taiwan to donate badly wanted vaccines at a time when the island was struggling to get sufficient.
The Biden administration has additionally invited Taiwan to a Summit for Democracy subsequent month, a move that drew a pointy rebuke from China.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian mentioned on Wednesday: “What the US did proves that the so-called democracy is just a pretext and tool for it to pursue geopolitical goals, suppress other countries, divide the world, serve its own interest and maintain its hegemony in the world.”