U.S. delegation lands in Taiwan just 12 days after Pelosi visit

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U.S. delegation lands in Taiwan just 12 days after Pelosi visit

A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, just 12 days after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that prompted China to launch days of threatening military drills around the self-governing island that Beijing says must come under its control.

The five-member delegation, led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will meet President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials, as well as members of the private sector, to discuss common interests including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and investments in semiconductors.

China responded to Pelosi's Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and skies around Taiwan for several days afterward. The Chinese government opposes Taiwan having any official contact with foreign governments, particularly with a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi.

A Taiwanese broadcaster showed a video of a U.S. government plane landing at Songshan Airport in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital, about 7 p.m. Sunday. Four members of the delegation were on the plane.

Markey met South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier Sunday in South Korea before arriving in Taiwan on a separate flight at Taoyuan International Airport, which serves Taipei. Markey will reaffirm the United States support for Taiwan, as chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

The delegation is composed of Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, and Democratic House members John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California and Don Beyer from Virginia.

Despite the conclusion of the military exercises last Wednesday, at least 10 of the Chinese warplanes have continued to cross the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis, with at least 10 doing so on Sunday, Taiwan s Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said on its Twitter account that 10 fighter jets were among 22 Chinese military aircraft and six naval ships detected in the area around Taiwan by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

A senior White House official on Asia policy said last week that China had used Pelosi's visit as a pretext to launch an increased pressure campaign against Taiwan, which will harm peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the broader region.

Kurt Campbell, a deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, said on a phone call with reporters that China has overreacted, and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing, and unprecedented.

It has tried to ignore the centerline between the P.R. He said that C. and Taiwan, which has been respected by both sides for more than 60 years as a stabilizing feature, has been used as the acronym for the country's full name, the People's Republic of China.

China accuses the U.S. of encouraging the independence of Taiwan through its sale of military equipment to the island and engaging with its officials. The U.S. says it does not support independence for Taiwan, but that it believes that its differences with China should be resolved by peaceful means.

China's ruling Communist Party has always stated that it favors joining China peacefully, but that it will not rule out force if necessary. The two split in 1949 during a civil war in which the Communists took control of China and the losing Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan.

Campbell said that the U.S. will send warships and planes through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, and is developing a roadmap for trade talks with Taiwan that he said the U.S. intends to announce in the coming days.