A group of six bipartisan U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, April 14, for an unannounced visit. Reuters commented that this trip is “in a show of support to the island in the face of Chinese pressure.”
In recent years, China has frequently deployed fighter jets into Taiwan’s Air defense identification zone, raising fears China may one day invade the self-ruled island. Moreover, concerns ramped up a notch due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
According to Fox News, the six lawmakers include Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Richard Burr, Sen. Rob Portman, Rep. Ronny Jackson, and Sen. Bob Menendez.
These senior lawmakers are among the most high-level U.S. officials to visit the island.
The group of lawmakers received a warm greeting from Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at downtown Songshan airport in the capital Taipei.
In a statement, Taiwan Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said that the visit shows the bipartisan U.S. support for Taiwan and the “rock-solid” nature of Taiwan-U.S. relations.
Chang added, “The Presidential Office looks forward to continuing to deepen the Taiwan-U.S. partnership through this face-to-face exchange, and continuing to work together to contribute to global and regional peace, stability, prosperity, and development.”
The lawmakers will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, April 15, and depart shortly afterward.
At a meeting of The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 14, Taiwan News reported that U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Taiwan’s situation is different from Ukraine, and the U.S. will ensure that China cannot invade Taiwan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also planned to visit Taiwan on her Asia trip but needed to postpone the visit after testing positive for COVID-19.