In this photo released by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from left: Alan Lowenthal, Member of the US Democratic House of Representatives from California, John Garamendi, Members of the Democratic House of Representatives, Donald Yu-Tien Hsu, Director-General, Dept. of North America, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democratic House of Representatives Don Beyer from Virginia and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a Republican delegate from American Samoa, pose for a photo after boarding a U.S. government plane at Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday, August 14th, 2022.
Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs | via AP
A delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a two-day trip during which they will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level group to visit amid military tensions between the self-governing island and China.
Beijing, which claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, has held military drills around the island to vent its anger at US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August.
The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation would be led by Senator Ed Markey, who would be joined by four House lawmakers on a major visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan’s presidential office said the group will meet with Tsai on Monday morning.
“Especially at a time when China is raising tensions across the Taiwan Strait and the region with military exercises, Markey, who leads a delegation visiting Taiwan, once again demonstrates the U.S. Congress’ firm support for Taiwan,” the statement said an explanation.
Markey chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity. The co-leaders of the visit are Representative John Garamendi of the Congressional Working Group on Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control and Representative Don Beyer, a Markey spokesman said.
Markey’s office said the lawmaker will “reaffirm United States support for Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, the joint US-China communiqués and six pledges, and promote stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
The group will “meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss common interests, including reducing cross-strait tensions and expanding economic cooperation, including investment in semiconductors,” Markey’s office said.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released images of four members of the group being picked up at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei after arriving on a US Air Force transport jet while Markey 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 concern,” said the de facto U.S. Message.
While China’s drills around Taiwan have eased, it still conducts military activities.
Eleven Chinese military planes crossed the center line of the Taiwan Straits or entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said. Thirteen planes crossed the strait on Saturday, the ministry said.