WASHINGTON D.C.: In a move that will draw the ire of China, three U.S. senators made a 3-hour visit to Taiwan to meet senior leaders on Sunday.
U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, and Alaskan Dan Sullivan of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Christopher Coons (Delaware) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, traveled to Taiwan on Sunday, according to the American Institute in Taiwan.
“I’m here to tell you that the United States will not let you stand alone,” Duckworth said on arrival at the airport after disembarking a U.S. military transport plane. “We will be by your side to make sure the people of Taiwan have what they need to get to the other side of the pandemic and beyond.” Duckworth had earlier advised the U.S. would provide Taiwan with 750,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The United States remains the most important supplier of arms and political support to Taiwan. However, the United States no longer has formal diplomatic ties with the island, which is claimed by China.
The senators’ trip to Taiwan was part of a continuing visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
“The bipartisan congressional delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” the Institute said in a statement prior to the visit.
China has increased pressure on the elected government of Taiwan in recent months, including repeated incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone by fighter jets.
Officials anticipate that China will denounce the visits of the U.S. Senators to Taiwan, claiming they were interfering in China’s internal affairs.