A second US congressional delegation visits Taiwan

The new five-member delegation is visiting the autonomous island to “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan” and “promote stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Markey’s spokesman said in a statement.

The delegation includes Democratic Reps. John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal and Don Beyer, and Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radeweghen, the statement said.

The Markey-led group will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu during the visit and discuss security and trade issues with the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee of Taiwan’s parliament, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. .

The Foreign Ministry added that it warmly welcomed the delegation and thanked the US for its support for Taiwan despite rising tensions with Beijing.

A spokesman for the senator said the delegation would “meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and increasing economic cooperation, including investment in semiconductors.”

China has not yet commented on the Congress visit.

China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan part of its territory, though it has never controlled it, and has vowed to “reunify” the island by force if necessary. Before Pelosi’s visit, Beijing had repeatedly warned of dire consequences if the trip went ahead – even going so far as to warn US President Joe Biden that those who played with fire would be “destroyed”.

During her trip to Taiwan, Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said the purpose of the visit was to make it “unequivocally clear” that the US “will not abandon” the democratically-ruled island.

China responded to the speaker’s trip by launching military exercises, which began with drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, according to China’s defense ministry. In addition to the drills, Beijing has canceled future phone calls between Chinese and US defense leaders, suspended bilateral climate talks and sanctioned Pelosi and her immediate family.

The White House has Called China’s ambassador to emphasize US willingness to condemn military operations and avoid crisis in the region. The White House has said there has been no change to the US’s “One China” policy, and that Washington recognizes the People’s Republic of China as China’s sole legitimate government.

The US maintains close informal relations with Taiwan and is bound by law to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. But it remains deliberately vague about whether it will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity.”

This story has been updated with additional background information.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Jeremy Herb, Wayne Chang and Rhea Mogul contributed to this report.

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