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U.S. delegation visits Taiwan as tensions with China worsen

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Rep. Lo Connor of California shakes hands with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen during a visit to the Asian island. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Palace of Taiwan/release
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, center, poses for a photo with a U.S. delegation that arrived on the self-governing island on Sunday for a five-day visit. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Palace of Taiwan/release

February 21 (United Press International) — US bipartisan delegation meets with President Tsai Ing-wenIn Taiwan on Tuesday, there was an effort to promote cooperation between Washington and Taipei amid deepening tensions with China.

The delegation, led by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., was Tsai Ing-wen welcomes At the Oval Office in the capital, she vowed to work more closely with the United States and its democratic partners to address global challenges, including “authoritarian expansion.”

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“On behalf of the people and the government of Taiwan, I would like to thank all of you for your concrete actions to support Taiwan,” she said in a short speech. “I believe that your visit will help Taiwan as the new session of the US Congress begins. Explore more cooperation opportunities with the United States.

“Together we can continue to defend the values ​​of democracy and freedom and contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery.”

The delegation arrived in the self-governing island on Sunday, starting a five-day visit during which the Americans will seek to strengthen ties between Silicon Valley and Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

Connor, who is a member of the newly formed special committee on U.S.-China strategic competition, underscored in his brief remarks the commitment of each member of his delegation to Taiwan’s independence, saying they came to the island to “affirm shared Values ​​between the United States and Taiwan, and the commitment to democracy, to freedom.”

Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas; Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass.and Rep. Jonathan Jackson, D-Illinois, who made up the rest of the delegation, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement Arriving as “important friends”, they “resolutely speak out for Taiwan on important issues.”

The U.S. delegation’s visit to the self-governing island was preceded by a show of military might in response from China, which views Taiwan as a Rouge province and has vowed to take it back by force if necessary.

The U.S. pledge to defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression is one source of tension between Washington and Beijing.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States. The White House has accused Beijing of a massive international espionage operation.

China has refuted the allegations, saying the aerial object was a civilian weather balloon that went off course.

Tensions between the two countries further strained after U.S. secretary of state anthony wink explain at NBC’s meet the media On Sunday, they were “very concerned” that China might soon start arming Russia in its war on Ukraine.

“It is the United States, not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield,” said a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry. Wang Wenbin say monday a formal media briefing“The United States is not in a position to tell China what to do.

“We will never tolerate US accusations, or even coercion and pressure, on our relationship with Russia.”

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