U.S. lawmakers arrive in Taiwan with China tensions simmering

TAIPEI/WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – A delegation of U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a two-day visit during which they will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, another high-level group to visit amid military tensions. between the autonomous island and China.

Beijing, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has staged military drills on the island to express anger over US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation was led by Senator Ed Markey, along with four House members described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

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Taiwan’s presidential office said the group would meet with Tsai on Monday morning.

“Especially at a time when China is escalating tensions with military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and in the region, Marke, leading the visiting delegation to Taiwan, has once again demonstrated the United States Congress’ strong support for Taiwan,” it said in a statement.

Markey chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee. Co-leaders of the meeting are Rep. John Garamendi and Rep. Don Beyer of the Congressional Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, Markey’s spokeswoman said.

Markey’s office said the lawmakers would “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the US-China Joint Communiqué and the Six Promises, and promote stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”

The group will “meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests, including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation, including investments in semiconductors,” Markey’s office said.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released photos of the four men they met at Taipei’s downtown Songshan Airport aboard a US Air Force transport jet, while Marke arrived at Taoyuan International Airport.

The delegation will meet with senior Taiwanese leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change and other important issues of mutual interest, the de facto US embassy said.

China’s drills around Taiwan have been scaled back, although it still conducts military operations.

Eleven Chinese military aircraft crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said. Read More Thirteen aircraft crossed the strait on Saturday, the ministry said. Read on

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard and David Shepardson in Washington, writing from the Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Nick McPhee and Grant McCool

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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