TAIPÉI, Taiwan (AP) — Five US lawmakers met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday morning during a surprise one-day visit, which seeks to reaffirm Washington’s “strong” support for the island. autonomous.
The bipartisan group of House of Representatives legislators arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night and was scheduled to hold meetings with senior officials, including Tsai, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the country’s de facto embassy, said. No further details of his schedule are known.
The visit comes at a time when tensions between Taiwan and China are at their highest level in decades. Taiwan has been self-governing since the two sides separated in a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the island part of its territory.
Michigan Democratic legislator Alyssa Slotkin, who is part of the delegation, wrote on Twitter: “When news of our visit broke yesterday, my office received a strong message from the Chinese Embassy asking me to cancel the trip. “
The group is also made up of Democrat Mark Takano of California; Colin Allred, from Texas, and Sarah Jacobs, from California, and Republican Nancy Mays, from South Carolina.
Takano said, “We are in Taiwan this week to remind our allies and allies that, after two difficult years, we have made our commitment and shared responsibility for a free and secure Indo-Pacific region stronger than ever. Is.”
Takano said the relationship between Washington and Taipei is “solid as a rock and remains strong as our ties continue to grow.”
Tsai, who received legislators and AIT’s director at the President‘s Office in Taipei, highlighted that the two sides had cooperation in stalwarts, economic and commercial matters, and reiterated the island’s proximity to the United States.
This is the third visit by US lawmakers to Taiwan this year and comes weeks after six Republican congressmen.