Second Congressional Delegation Goes To Taiwan This Month As Tensions Rise With China

Large Taiwan flag waving in the wind

According to new reports, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers showed up in Taiwan Thursday, making it the second time in as many weeks that a congressional delegation has traveled to the country.

The delegation included Reps. Mark Takano, Colin Allred, Elissa Slotkin, Sara Jacobs, and Nancy Mace.

via Washington Examiner:

Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, claims independence from China despite mainland insistence that it’s a territory under its jurisdiction. Taiwan has become one of the biggest issues straining U.S.-Chinese relations.

Those who met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ingwen went on to say of the meeting, “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,”according to a report from NPR .

Slotkin then stated that her office “received a blunt message from the Chinese Embassy, telling me to call off the trip,” when the news concerning the trip was released to the public.

“But just as with other stops, we’re here to learn about the region and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to our hosts, the Taiwanese,” she said. “I’m looking forward to an informative trip.”

The Michigan lawmaker’s office also received a letter from the embassy saying, “We strongly urge the Congresswoman immediately cancel the planned visit to Taiwan, and not to support and embolden separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence,’ lest it cause huge damage to the China-US relations and the peace and stability of Taiwan Straits,” according to NBC News .

Takano described the U.S. commitment to Taiwan as “rock solid” and said it has “remained steadfast as the ties between us have deepened. Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world,” he added, per the outlet.

According to the report, the current U.S. strategy concerning the ongoing conflict that is happening between China and Taiwan is one of “strategic ambiguity,” which means our government is attempting to keep it unclear how they would respond to the situation.

“Sens. Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, and Tommy Tuberville and Reps. Tony Gonzales and Jake Ellzey, all of whom are Republicans, traveled to Taiwan earlier this month. The Chinese Embassy also warned Ellzey’s office about the trip,” the WE report said.

“To our knowledge, this type of language hasn’t been used with U.S. lawmakers before from the Chinese Embassy,” he stated, according to a report from Foreign Policy . “It wasn’t a threat, but urging us to cancel. They didn’t use the word ‘condemn,’ but it was pretty clear it was a condemnation of the trip.”

The U.S. has already put military forces inside Taiwan for training purposes, which Tsai has confirmed, though she did concede the number of our forces in the country is “not as many as people thought.”