Political Bullsh!t

U.S. lawmakers defy China, meet with Taiwan officials in Taipei

The leader of a U.S. congressional delegation to Taiwan declared during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen Friday that the self-governing island was a “force for good,” per Reuters.

Why it matters: The group arrived in Taipei on Thursday despite pressure from Beijing to call off the visit, according to two of the five lawmakers on the trip. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) tweeted that the message she received from the Chinese Embassy was “blunt.”

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  • Six Republican lawmakers who visited Taiwan earlier this month to meet with Tsai and other Taipei officials faced similar calls from Beijing’s embassy in Washington, per Foreign Policy.
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), the House Veterans’ Affairs chair, and leader of the delegation to Taiwan, praised Taiwan to Tsai as a “democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world,” in a comments that are sure to further anger Beijing, per Reuters.

“Our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and has remained steadfast as the ties between us have deepened. Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world.”

— Rep. Takano

The big picture: Takano, Slotkin and Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Colin Allred (D-Texas.) and Sara Jacobs, (D-Calif) were in Taiwan to discuss matters including regional security, U.S.-Taiwan relations “and other significant issues of mutual interest” with Taipei officials, per a statement from the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy.

  • Slotkin tweeted Thursday, “The auto industry’s largest supplier of microchips is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will most definitely be on the agenda.”

Background: The Chinese government has in recent months escalated military and political pressure in its claims over the island, which separated from China in 1949 amid civil war.

Go deeper: Taiwan among 110 participants invited to Biden’s “Summit for Democracy”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include details of the meeting with Tsai Ing-wen.

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