China-Taiwan Tensions: US Senator Marsha Blackburn Visits Taipei In Latest Defiance To Beijing

China-Taiwan Tensions: US Senator Marsha Blackburn Visits Taipei In Latest Defiance To Beijing

Marsha Blackburn, a US Senator, is the latest US legislator to visit the self-governed island of Taiwan on Thursday, following a string of visits by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other US officials that has heightened tensions with China, news agency ANI reported.

According to The Hill, when applauding US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent travel to Taiwan with 25 other Republican senators, she stated that Taiwan is the US’s greatest partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Regular high-level trips to Taipei have long been US policy,” Blackburn said, adding that she will not be intimidated by China into abandoning the island.

According to The Hill, Blackburn landed in Taiwan after stops in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea, and was greeted at the airport by Taiwan’s foreign ministry’s director-general for North American relations, Douglas Hsu.

According to The Hill, Blackburn will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday before departing on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Pelosi led a team to Taiwan, becoming the highest-ranking US politician to visit the island in 25 years. China replied by conducting military manoeuvres around the island for many days after she left. Furthermore, a five-member legislative delegation visited Taiwan a few days later, causing China to resume military drills.

Beijing considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and wishes to reunite the mainland with the democratic island.

China claims that Taiwan is the most significant issue in its diplomatic relations with the United States, but Taiwan’s government claims that Beijing has never controlled the island and has no authority to dictate who it engages.

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China’s military manoeuvres surrounding Taiwan continue, which some observers believe are a simulation of a full-scale invasion on the 22-million-person island.

Despite never having governed Taiwan, China’s governing Chinese Communist Party regards it as part of its territory and has long threatened to “reunify” the island with the Chinese mainland, using force if necessary.

During Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted threatening drills in the East China and South China Seas on July 30, while live-fire military exercises in the Gulf of Bohai were held on August 1-4, and regular drills in the South China Sea were held on August 2-6.

(With Inputs From ANI)