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EXCLUSIVE Taiwan hosts a large number of foreign lawmakers in Washington to push China sanctions

Taiwan flags flutter throughout a welcome ceremony for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves (not pictured) beyond your presidential palace in Taipei, Taiwan August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, on Tuesday hosted a large number of international lawmakers who back sanctions on China for aggression toward the island, a show of support for Taipei amid military pressure from Beijing.

The unannounced gathering around 60 parliamentarians from Europe, Asia and Africa at Taiwan’s sweeping hilltop diplomatic mansion in Washington – called Twin Oaks – may be the latest move around in Taipei’s efforts to persuade fellow democracies to stand against China since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine heightened concerns that Beijing could try to take the island by force.

The group, comprising members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) gathering in Washington this week, is likely to sign a pledge to push their governments to look at “greater deterrence against military or other coercive” actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) against Taiwan, in accordance with a draft seen by Reuters.

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“We shall campaign to make sure our governments signal to the PRC that military aggression towards Taiwan will definitely cost Beijing dearly. Economic and political measures, including meaningful sanctions, is highly recommended to deter military escalation, also to ensure trade along with other exchanges with Taiwan can continue unimpeded,” the draft said.

It added that their countries’ ties to Taiwan weren’t Beijing’s to find out, and they would push to improve mutual visits by lawmakers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to create democratically governed Taiwan under Beijing’s control and contains not eliminated the usage of force. He could be set to secure a third, five-year leadership term at a Communist Party congress the following month. Taiwan’s government strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

Sources acquainted with the problem have told Reuters that Washington is considering sanctions against China to deter it from invading Taiwan, with europe coming under diplomatic pressure from Taipei to accomplish exactly the same. read more

Hsiao, talking with the lawmakers – who in accordance with a guest list seen by Reuters hailed from countries like the U.K., Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Lithuania, Ukraine, New Zealand and holland – told the gathering: “It is very important show the bully that people have friends too.

“We have been not wanting to provoke the bully, but neither will we bow with their pressure.”

She welcomed two Ukrainian representatives at the function.

“We certainly hope that because the international community stands with Ukraine, that the international community may also stand with Taiwan… that together we are able to deter the further aggression via China.”

The IPAC pledge, likely to be signed on Wednesday, also demands countries to secure supply chains from forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, also to pursue sanctions on Chinese officials for abuses in Hong Kong, and on Chinese companies that support Russia’s military industry.

China’s embassy in Washington didn’t immediately react to a obtain comment.


U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez, who acts because the United States’ IPAC co-chair with Republican Marco Rubio, told an IPAC briefing at the Capitol on Tuesday a U.S. bill to aid Taiwan would face some changes throughout a scheduled review this week, but that the “thrust” would remain exactly the same.

A short version of this bill threatens severe sanctions against China for just about any aggression against Taiwan, and would provide Taiwan with vast amounts of dollars in foreign military financing in coming years. read more

Rubio said he believed the Biden administration was divided over how to overcome prospective sanctions on China, and that although Beijing were taking steps to insulate itself from such actions, Washington needed be clear concerning the costs of hostility over the Taiwan Strait.

“It is important for all of us to anticipate to proactively outline be it through legislation or via an executive announcement, just what the economic consequences will undoubtedly be if this act of aggression goes forward,” Rubio told the briefing.

China conducted blockade-style military drills around Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month, a reaction Taiwanese officials have credited for spurring an uptick in foreign engagement that Beijing views as a violation of its sovereignty claims on the island. read more

Taiwan also offers been urging Washington, its largest arms supplier, to expedite already approved weapons deliveries which have faced delays due to supply chain issues and heightened demand from the war in Ukraine.

Republican U.S. Representative Young Kim, who has written a bill to track U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, told Reuters within an interview that Hsiao had delivered a forceful message to Congress about ensuring those weapons systems reach Taiwan quickly.

“She’s said it in 100 different ways that people appreciate america looking to get us the arms but remember, it’s a long time overdue,” Kim said of Hsiao. “She’s very firm.”

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Reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Mary Milliken and Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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