Democratic U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Republican U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) will visit Taiwan on Sunday (June 6) and meet with senior Taiwanese officials.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement that the visit of the three senators is part of its Indo-Pacific tour. The senators will exchange views with Taiwan’s top officials on “important issues such as U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other common interests.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the visit of the bipartisan U.S. senators. In a press release, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the three cross-party senators visiting Taiwan are all longtime and strong supporters of Taiwan in the U.S. Congress. Among them are Senators Duckworth and Sullivan, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who have repeatedly voted in Congress to support Taiwan-friendly bills or co-signed Taiwan-friendly joint letters. Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, chairman of the Disciplinary Committee and chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, and co-sponsor of the Taiwan Reassurance Act and the Taipei Act.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that the mission is the first international mission planned by the Senate Armed Services Committee since the 2020 epidemic, and that the trip includes Taiwan as a priority country to visit, demonstrating the cross-party support of the U.S. Congress for consistent U.S.-Taiwan relations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its appreciation to the three Senators for their generous support of various Taiwan issues and said it believes the Senators’ trip will help further deepen the deep ties between Taiwan and the U.S. Congress.
Several former senior U.S. officials visited Taiwan two months ago to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and to demonstrate President Biden’s support for Taiwan and its democracy.
China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and has repeatedly stated its firm opposition to any form of official U.S.-Taiwan relations. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said any contact between Taiwan and the United States would not change the fact that “Taiwan is part of China.
Reuters said the visit of the three senators to Taiwan could anger China.
China has increased pressure on Taiwan in recent months. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu Chiu-sup recently accused China of seeking political gains by providing vaccines and other anti-epidemic aid abroad, including increased pressure on Taiwan.
Since the recent worsening of Taiwan’s new crown epidemic, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been arguing over the procurement of vaccines. Taiwan has accused China of interfering with Taiwan’s procurement of the BNT vaccine from a German biotech company, leading to a last-minute breakdown in negotiations between the two sides, while Beijing has slammed Taiwan for “playing political games” with people’s lives by refusing to provide vaccines to Taiwan from the mainland.
The Chinese Communist Party has also taken frequent military actions in the Taiwan Strait recently. In addition to frequently dispatching military aircraft to disturb Taiwan and fly into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier fleet has also conducted “training exercises” in the waters around Taiwan.