A group of US representatives has called on US President Joe Biden to visit Taiwan during his upcoming trip to Asia as a show of the US’ commitment to the nation amid China’s “bullying.”
Biden is slated to visit South Korea and Japan from Friday to May 24 — his first visit to Asia as president.
Biden is to hold talks with his Korean and Japanese counterparts, as well as meet with the leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue during his stay in Tokyo, the White House said.
In light of frequent incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone by Chinese warplanes, the inclusion of Taiwan in Biden’s itinerary would demonstrate what his administration has called its “rock-solid commitment to Taiwan,” said a letter to Biden dated Thursday and jointly signed by nine US representatives.
Such a visit would also show the administration’s support for the Taiwan Relations Act, the letter said, adding that the White House has been sending mixed messages about Taiwan.
The act requires the US to provide Taiwan with weapons for self-defense and expand economic cooperation with the nation, but the letter said that the representatives were troubled by indications that the administration might delay delivery of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers and shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan, as well as by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s (戴琪) refusal to commit to Taiwan’s inclusion in the planned Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
“We are also concerned that it may reward — and further encourage — China’s relentless campaign of bullying to isolate Taiwan,” the letter said.
Citing the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages high-ranking US officials to visit Taiwan and meet with their counterparts, the lawmakers called on Biden to visit Taiwan to be “consistent with the spirit of that law.”
The letter was signed by US representatives Tom Tiffany, Scott Perry, Nancy Mace, Louie Gohmert, Lisa McClain, Pete Stauber, Michelle Steel, Bob Good and Ronny Jackson.
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