‘We will not be intimidated’: US politician arrives in Taiwan | Political news
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on a visit condemned by Beijing.
A senior US politician arrived in Taiwan during the last visit by a US politician this month, despite intense pressure from Beijing not to visit the self-governing island.
Marsha Blackburn, a Republican senator from the state of Tennessee who serves on the Senate Commerce and Armed Services Committees, landed in Taiwan late Thursday after visiting the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
She was greeted by Douglas Yu-Tien Hsu, director general of Taiwan’s foreign ministry, the Blackburn office said.
“I just landed in Taiwan to send a message to Beijing – we won’t be intimidated,” she tweeted.
“The United States remains committed to preserving freedom around the world and will not tolerate efforts aimed at undermining our nation and our allies.”
In a separate statement, Blackburn said she looked forward to “meeting with leaders in Taipei to advance and strengthen our partnerships,” and that such visits were a “longstanding U.S. policy.”
Blackburn is the latest US politician to visit the Democratic Island since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in early August.
After Pelosi’s visit, Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own, held large-scale sea and air military drills that included missile launches over the island. China has not ruled out using force to take control of Taiwan and considers high-level foreign visits to the island as “interference” in its affairs. Pelosi was the highest elected American official to visit the island in 25 years.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Blackburn would meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday morning, as well as senior security official Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
“The two sides will hold an in-depth exchange of views on issues such as Taiwan-US security and economic and trade relations,” the ministry added in a brief statement.
Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, said Beijing would take unspecified “resolute countermeasures” in response to what he called US “provocations”.
“The relevant visit proves once again that the United States does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Strait and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in the internal affairs of China,” Liu said in a statement.
Beijing held further military drills after a group of five US lawmakers visited the island following Pelosi’s trip.
The United States, which maintains formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, reiterated that congressional trips to Taiwan were routine. Washington is pursuing a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the island and is required by law to give it the means to defend itself.
“Members of Congress and elected officials have visited Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so, and this is consistent with our longstanding one-China policy,” a National Security Council spokesperson said. from the White House in response to a question about Blackburn’s visit.
Taiwan’s government says the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and has no right to claim it, and that only its 23 million people can decide their future.
The government this week announced a nearly 14% increase in defense spending to include funding for new fighter jets and other military equipment.