TAIPEI, TAIWAN ( Associated Press) – China on Monday announced more military exercises around Taiwan, as the island’s president, in a fresh show of support for the self-governing island from US lawmakers, said members of a new US congressional delegation which China claims as part. of its area.
Taiwanese media showed the delegation’s arrival for a meeting, although details about the meeting were not previously published.
The visit comes less than two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, prompting China to threaten several days of military drills that included launching missiles over the island and the Taiwan Strait.
China has also sent warplanes and military ships across the centerline of the strait, which has long been a rift between the two separate regions in the 1949 civil war. China sees formal contact between American politicians and the island’s government in support of its independence from Beijing.
The Chinese Defense Ministry and its military’s Eastern Command on Monday announced new exercises in the skies and waters around Taiwan, intended to serve as “a firm response and serious deterrence against US-Taiwan collusion and provocations”. was. Ministry.
The Chinese exercises of the past two weeks saw Taiwan alert its military, although the population received them mainly with defiance and indifference.
In Taiwan’s capital Taipei, the chairman of the Foreign and National Defense Committee, Lou Chih-cheng, met with US lawmakers and said that “his visit is very important at this time, as Chinese military exercises (intent) are discouraged. US Congressmen Visited Taiwan.
“His visit at this time shows that China cannot prevent politicians from any country from visiting Taiwan, and it also sends an important message that the American people stand with the people of Taiwan,” Lo said.
China says it wants to use peaceful means to bring Taiwan under its control, but its recent demonstrations have emphasized a military threat.
The five-member delegation was led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and was scheduled to meet with other government and private sector representatives. The talks were expected to revolve around easing tensions in the Taiwan Straits and investing in Taiwan’s critical semiconductor sector.
Other members of the delegation were Republican Representative Oumua Amata Coleman, a representative from American Samoa, and Americans John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California, and Don Baer from Virginia.
A top White House official on Asia policy said last week that China had used Pelosi’s visit to launch an intense pressure campaign against Taiwan, threatening peace and stability around the world. Taiwan Strait and throughout the region.
“China has overreacted and its actions remain provocative, volatile and unprecedented,” Kurt Campbell, a deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, told reporters.
“It has tried to ignore the central line between the PRC and Taiwan, which has been hailed by both sides as a stabilization figure for more than 60 years,” he said.
China accuses the United States of encouraging independence forces in Taiwan by selling military equipment and dealing with its officers. Washington says it does not support Taiwan’s independence, but its differences with China should be resolved peacefully.
China’s ruling Communist Party says it prefers Taiwan to join China peacefully, but does not rule out the use of force if necessary. The two sides split in 1949 during the civil war, in which the Communists took control of China and the defeated Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan.
In remarks on Friday, Campbell said the United States would send military planes and ships to the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks and was working to create a framework for trade talks with Taiwan, which he said would come to Washington. intends to announce in the coming days.