A delegation of six high-ranking US lawmakers yesterday arrived in Taipei for a one-day visit as part of their Asia tour.
US Senator Lindsey Graham, who is ranking member of the US Senate Budget Committee, is leading the delegation, which also includes US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, a Democrat, and Republican senators Richard Burr, Ben Sasse and Rob Portman.
Republican Representative Ronny Jackson is the only US House of Representatives member on the visit.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Burr is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, while Portman is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
The group touched down at 7:40pm at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a US military aircraft, where they were received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release welcoming the visitors.
Before departing today, they are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) to “exchange views on various important issues related to Taiwan-US relations,” the ministry said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
They are also to attend a banquet organized by Wu, it said.
This is the first US congressional delegation to visit Taiwan this year, after a trip reportedly planned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week was canceled after she tested positive for COVID-19.
The group is on an Asia tour as US lawmakers gradually resume international travel after years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Graham took the initiative to include Taiwan on the itinerary to “demonstrate the high regard and firm support US lawmakers from both parties have for Taiwan,” the ministry said.
Also yesterday, a visiting Swedish and European parliamentary delegation held a news conference in Taipei before their scheduled departure in the evening.
The representatives emphasized their unified support for Taiwan, despite representing a vast coalition of parties.
The visit was to send a signal of support from Europe to Taiwan, and to make sure “such signal is heard all across the Taiwan Strait,” Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers said.
“We want to let Beijing know that, over in Europe, we know Taiwan and care for Taiwan,” Weimers said.
Swedish Parliament Deputy Speaker Kerstin Lundgren said she was warned by Beijing not to visit, but added that the message only proved the need to support Taiwan.
Lundgren said that her chamber would soon debate changing the name of Sweden’s representation in Taiwan in an effort to “scale up” the office.
Currently named the “Swedish Trade and Invest Council,” the parliamentarians next week would debate renaming the office “House of Sweden,” which is also the name for the country’s embassy in Washington.
The change would show that the entity promotes other bilateral links besides just business, Lundgren said.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) also met with the Swedish and European delegation earlier in the day to thank them for their support.
Additional reporting by CNA
UNDETERRED: The US chip designer’s plan showed that Taiwan remains attractive for investment by global companies despite cross-strait tensions, Wang Mei-hua said US graphics chip designer Nvidia Corp is planning to relocate its Hong Kong-based logistics center to Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Wednesday. The government had been in discussions with Nvidia regarding tax incentives to facilitate the move since last year, Wang said in an interview with the Central News Agency, adding that the two sides had reached a consensus. Wang did not provide details about the timetable for the move or the planned tax arrangements for Nvidia. The relocation would boost the local economy, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is a major supplier of graphics processing
Kaohsiung police last week busted a money laundering operation suspected of seeking to interfere in tomorrow’s local elections. The operation was allegedly headed by a man surnamed Lee (李), who had received NT$9.5 billion (US$306.18 million) from China over the past six months, Kaohsiung police said yesterday, adding that Lee’s ring is suspected to be part of a larger Chinese effort to interfere in the elections and support pro-China candidates. Officers arrested Lee, 35, and his girlfriend, searched his mansion, and seized the money he had allegedly received from China and three luxury vehicles, police said. The operation was disguised as an online
‘NEWEST’: The company’s Arizona plant is to produce 5-nanometer chips in the initial stage and would later manufacture 3-nanometer chips, Morris Chang said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) yesterday confirmed that the company plans to produce its most advanced 3-nanometer chips in the US as part of the company’s phase 2 plan at its plant in Phoenix, Arizona. The 91-year-old entrepreneur, who has been appointed as Taiwan’s envoy to APEC six times, yesterday morning held a news conference at the Presidential Office Building to discuss his delegation’s accomplishments at this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, which ended on Saturday. He was asked whether TSMC has plans to build advanced chips in the US. “TSMC’s plant in Arizona is
SURRENDER PLEDGE: Prosecutors said Hsiang Te-en was not charged with treason or contravening the National Security Act, because evidence had been removed The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday charged army Colonel Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) with corruption, accusing him of pledging allegiance to China and receiving payment from Chinese operatives to work as a spy. Prosecutors asked a court to sentence Hsiang to 12 years in prison. Hsiang is head of the Kaohsiung-based Army Infantry Training Command’s Operations Research and Development Division. He allegedly signed a “pledge of surrender” and promised to “serve, as best he may, in his office for the benefits of the motherland in the event of war across the [Taiwan] Strait,” the office said. Hsiang could not be charged with contraventions of