Sen. Marsha Blackburn meets Taiwan president amid China tensions


BEIJING — Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) satisfied Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday in Taipei, the newest U.S. lawmaker to take a look at the island at a time of tense relations with China.

Blackburn’s pay a visit to is the third by U.S. lawmakers this month. U.S. Dwelling Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s excursion in early August plunged cross-strait relations to latest lows and prompted Beijing to start significant-scale navy exercise routines in the waters all over Taiwan.

Taiwan has been self-ruled for decades and is one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. However, Beijing continues to assert the island as element of its territory and responds furiously every time overseas officers or companies seem to address Taiwan as a region. The United States and most other governments do not diplomatically acknowledge Taiwan, in buy to keep official relations with China.

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In her go to on Friday, Blackburn known as Taiwan a “country” in passing, whilst indicating it was vital to guidance Taiwan in “preserving its flexibility.”

“I am seeking ahead to a excellent visit. And of course in truth I do recall my stop by fondly in 2008, and the opportunity to get to see some of your nation firsthand,” Blackburn informed Tsai, in accordance to a video clip posted on Tsai’s official Facebook account.

Tsai named Blackburn an “important and shut mate of Taiwan,” and expressed her hopes that Taiwan would be much more deeply built-in into U.S.-led initiatives in the location. Taiwan has been excluded from the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a U.S.-led trade initiative, though Washington has released individual trade negotiations with Taiwan.

“We glimpse ahead to functioning hand-in-hand with the United States and other like-minded democracies to safeguard peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Tsai explained.

Pelosi vows China will not isolate Taiwan as armed forces tensions soar

Pelosi’s stop by had sparked the greatest Chinese military services exhibit of force considering that the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, and Chinese import bans on some Taiwan goods. The substantial-profile visit infuriated Beijing, which aired warnings to Washington publicly and privately ahead of the vacation. Chinese chief Xi Jinping had individually asked President Biden to reduce Pelosi’s check out, a ask for turned down by Biden, The Washington Submit has described, in accordance to a senior White Household official who spoke on the issue of anonymity.

A delegation of five users of Congress led by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) visited Taiwan past 7 days, prompting a new spherical of Chinese armed service drills in the waters close to the island.

Alicia Chen in Taipei contributed to this report.

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