US delegation supports Taiwan before Chinese military maneuvers

US delegation supports Taiwan before Chinese military maneuvers
US delegation supports Taiwan before Chinese military maneuvers

Taipei. A US congressional delegation visited Taiwan to support the island in the face of “aggression” by China, which carried out major military maneuvers in the area last week.

Michael McCaul, Republican representative and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a meeting with Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te that he and his colleagues would provide their “unwavering support to this beautiful island.”

The parliamentarian arrived in Taiwan on Sunday accompanied by a delegation made up of Republicans and Democrats.

READ MORE: Lai Ching-te assumes presidency of Taiwan and asks China to ‘stop’ intimidation

On Thursday, China began two days of military exercises around Taiwan as “strong punishment” after the inauguration of Lai, whom they consider a “dangerous separatist.”

Beijing has claimed sovereignty over the separately governed island since 1949 and has never ruled out using force to take control.

This photo taken and released by Taiwan’s Presidential Office on May 27, 2024 shows Taiwan President Lai Ching-te (center right) speaking during a meeting with a U.S. delegation led by Rep. Michael McCaul (center left) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. (HANDOUT/AFP)

McCaul condemned these “threatening military exercises,” stating that they demonstrated that China “is not interested in taking Taiwan by peaceful means.”

Lai Ching-te thanked the delegation for its support, hoping that Congress “will continue to help Taiwan strengthen its self-defense capabilities.”

READ MORE: The United States warns China about military exercises in Taiwan

The United States, which granted diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China in 1979 to the detriment of Taiwan, remains the island’s most powerful ally and its main arms supplier.

Beijing expressed its opposition to the US delegation’s trip to Taiwan on Monday and “will take necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” declared Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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