The concluding images from this week’s five-member congressional delegation, like those from Nancy Pelosi’s visit less than two weeks prior, are intended to send a clear message to China. They show the delegation disembarking on the tarmac of Taipei’s international airport and being welcomed by grinning Taiwanese officials who are grateful for the American support.
This month, Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey concluded the second congressional delegation from the US there. Pelosi was the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in twenty-five years, demonstrating the US’s long-standing policy of support for the island’s democratically elected authorities.
Taiwan is allegedly a portion of Chinese territory. It sees any visit from US representatives as an affirmation of the sovereignty of the island.
China has so far reacted to Markey’s trip with more restraint than it did two weeks ago, when Beijing began days of active military exercises surrounding Taiwan and severed certain diplomatic connections with the US government in protest of Pelosi’s visit.
Why have more lawmakers visited Taiwan this month?
To demonstrate that they can and will. Pelosi justified her visit to Taiwan by stating that American politicians had a duty to defend democratic movements from dictatorial states.
The operation itself serves as a powerful example for lawmakers of how the United States will continue to support Taiwan despite warnings from China, which is becoming more aggressive and assertive in its territorial claims in the region under President Xi Jinping.
Taiwan and the mainland China broke apart during a civil war in 1949. China, meanwhile, asserts that the island is part of its own country but has not yet ruled out using force to seize it.
Despite maintaining unofficial trade, military, and political connections with democratic Taiwan, the US recognises Beijing as the government of China.
Markey, a member of Congress for more than four decades, signed the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act as one of its signatories. The law promised continued US relations with Taiwan.
According to a statement from his office, Markey promised to “support peace and stability in Taiwan as they confront increased authoritarian influence from Beijing” during his meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday.
Although tensions with China increased as a result of Pelosi’s visit, Markey also reaffirmed the US desire to avoid needless war in the area and applauded Taiwan for its moderation.
What was China’s response?
China announced fresh manoeuvres in the air and seas encircling Taiwan in response to news of Markey’s five-person U.S. congressional committee.
It was unclear if the new drills had already begun. Officials withheld information regarding the location and timing of the events.
When Pelosi was there, Beijing dispatched warplanes and naval ships across the waterway’s midline, along a barrier between the sides, and launched missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait.
How did Biden react?
President Joe Biden said that the US is continuing to adhere to its long-standing “one-China” policy and criticised China’s extremely strong response to Pelosi’s visit. This excludes both any intention to recognise Taiwan as an independent nation and any backing of any Chinese initiative to alter the current dynamic between Taipei and Beijing.
Compared to Pelosi’s delegation, the most recent one travelled with much less of a public eye. The White House has also remained more silent. The State Department’s spokesman, Ned Price, was questioned about it on Monday, but no comments have been made.
Late last week, Kurt Campbell, Biden’s coordinator for Indo-Pacific issues, emphasised that the US would continue to take independent actions in the coming days, weeks, and months to show and strengthen support for Taiwanese officials.
This covers planned trade announcements between the US and Taiwan as well as US military operations in the Taiwan Strait.