Democratic Lawmakers Visit Taiwan Less Than Two Weeks After Pelosi Visit

Less than two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan, another group of Democratic lawmakers is stopping in the country to meet the president of the island nation.

The visit comes as tensions between the U.S. and China — which claims the self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory — remain high. For nearly a week after Pelosi’s visit, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a series of military drills close to the island.

This latest group, led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), arrived in Taipei on Sunday for a two-day visit that is reportedly only one stop on a larger trip across the Pacific region. Markey is joined by four other lawmakers, including Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Don Beyer (D-VA).

According to a spokesperson for Markey, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, the group “will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and Six Assurances, and will encourage peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The group will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday morning, along with a number of other elected officials and private sector leaders, in order to “discuss shared interests” like “reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation.”

The delegation’s visit comes just 12 days after Pelosi made a similar stop on the island during her trip across Asia. The House speaker’s visit, which China had warned against in the days leading up to the trip, provoked a furious response from Beijing, including aggressive military drills around the island and personal sanctions on Pelosi and her family.

While China has stopped its military exercises around Taiwan for the time being, officials said the PLA would continue regular combat patrols close to the island.

Despite the elevated tensions with the Chinese mainland, Taiwan’s presidential office said it welcomed the congressional delegation’s visit to the country.

“Especially at a time when China is raising tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the region with military exercises, Markey leading a delegation to visit Taiwan once again demonstrates the United States Congress’ firm support for Taiwan,” it said in a statement.