The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it welcomed a visit to the nation by a US delegation, and hoped that the mutual interests of Taiwan and the US would be enhanced.
The delegation, which includes former US senator Chris Dodd and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at about 3pm yesterday.
Reuters reported that the trip by the “unofficial” delegation was requested by US President Joe Biden, and was described by a senior official in the Biden administration as a “personal signal” of Biden’s commitment to the nation.
This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the enactment of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the KMT said in a statement yesterday before the group’s arrival.
The dispatch of the unofficial delegation to Taiwan by the Biden administration represents how the US has long supported exchanges between Taiwan and the US, and continued to assist the nation in its self-defense and the peaceful handling of issues involving the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the TRA, the KMT said.
The KMT values and appreciates the assistance and support that the Biden administration, the US Congress and non-governmental figures in the US have shown to Taiwan, the KMT said.
The party said it hoped that Taiwan and the US could accommodate each other to improve relations steadily on an unofficial basis, and enhance mutual interests.
KMT Legislator Charles Chen (陳以信) said that while he appreciated the delegation’s visit, he did not see it as a breakthrough regarding visits between Taiwan and the US, as the members of the delegation had no official status.
Chen, who sits on the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, said he felt it was a pity that no arrangements were made for members of the delegation to meet with representatives from different political parties.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), who is also on the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, said in a radio interview that the Democratic Progressive Party administration has on multiple occasions chosen not to arrange for groups visiting from the US to meet with members of opposition parties, sometimes even when such meetings were requested.
The voices of the nation’s opposition parties should be heard by decisionmakers in Washington to prevent a misunderstanding of the domestic situation, Chiang said.
Additional reporting by CNA and Peng Wan-hsin
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