China-Taiwan Tension: Another US Delegation Set To Visit Island Today Despite Beijing's Repeated Objections

China-Taiwan Tension: Another US Delegation Set To Visit Island Today Despite Beijing's Repeated Objections

New Delhi: As tensions remain high between China and Taiwan, another US congressional delegation is visiting the self-governed island nation. Despite China’s biggest-ever military drills, Washington DC has continued to send its officials to visit Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in early August sparked a faceoff over the sovereignty of Taiwan.

An eight-member bipartisan delegation is scheduled to meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The team is led by Florida Democrat Stephanie Murphy, who is among lawmakers who introduced a bill that would allow the US to lend weapons to support Taiwan, similar to a bill passed to lend weapons to Ukraine. 

Last week, the Biden administration approved a $1 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

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The other officials in the delegation include Hawaii Democrat Kaiali’i Kahele and Republicans Scott Franklin of Florida, Joe Wilson of South Carolina, Andy Barr of Kentucky, Darrell Issa of California, Claudia Tenney of New York, and Kat Cammack of Florida, the AP reported.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi was the highest-level member of the US government to visit Taiwan in 25 years amid warnings by Beijing not to proceed with the planned trip. China responded to the visit by holding extended military exercises that included firing missiles over the island and sending ships across the midline of the Taiwan Strait, which has been a buffer between the two sides. Some of the missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. 

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Beijing’s military drills targeting Taiwan included sending warships, warplanes, and even drones toward the island on a daily basis.

The response stems from China viewing high-level foreign visits to Taiwan as interference in its affairs and de facto recognition of Taiwanese sovereignty. The recent military drills led to more worry as they were suspected to be a rehearsal of future military action against the island. As per AP, the US military leaders say that the military action could come within the next few years.

After Pelosi’s trip, a US senator and another congressional delegation visited Taiwan. Governors of Arizona and Indiana made visits with a focus on semiconductors, the industry which Taiwanese companies dominate. Public officials from Japan and Palau have also visited the country.

The US politicians have termed their visits as a show of support for the island while US President Biden assured support in case of any untoward action by Beijing.

(With Agency Inputs)