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U.S. Senator Lands in Taiwan Weeks After Nancy Pelosi Visit Sparked Fury

U.S. Senator Ed Markey has issued a statement as he confirmed he could be leading a team of representatives in a vacation to Taiwan.

This trip comes just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island, which led to condemnation from China.

Accompanying the Democratic Massachusetts Senator is Democrat Representative John Garamendi, Democrat Representative Alan Lowenthal, Democrat Representative Don Beyer and Republican Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.

The delegation landed on Sunday, August 14 within a larger stop by at the Indo-Pacific region.

“The delegation will talk with senior Taiwan leaders to go over U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, along with other significant issues of mutual interest,” the statement read.

Following Pelosi’s trip, the White House reiterated that it’ll continue steadily to support Taiwan on the international stage.

Kurt Campbell, a high White House aide for the Indo-Pacific, said throughout a press call Friday that the White House will seek deeper ties with Taiwan when confronted with what he called China’s potentially destabilizing nearby military activity.

Following announcement of Pelosi’s trip, China conducted a number of military drills close to the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported an archive amount of Chinese aircraft and naval vessels in its surrounding sea and airspace with military jets flying a lot more than 300 sorties round the island.

“China has overreacted, and its own actions continue being provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented,” Campbell said on Friday.

He added: “China launched missiles in to the waters around Taiwan. It declared exclusion zones around Taiwan that disrupted civilian, air and maritime traffic.”

Following a visit, Pelosi was hit with sanctions by China, as were her family.

On August 5, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family for what it named an “egregious provocation,” although just what the measures would entail had not been immediately clear.

However, the home Speaker were unconcerned concerning the actions by China.

“Who cares?” the California lawmaker said at a press conference about her delegation’s wider trip across Asia.

“We didn’t go there to speak about China. We went there to praise Taiwan. And we went there showing our friendship, to state ‘China cannot isolate Taiwan.’ So that’s what it had been about. That’s incidental if you ask me, of no relevance whatsoever.”

Despite President Joe Biden’s personal assurances to Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Beijing continues to argue that the U.S. is quietly upgrading its unofficial ties with Taiwan, along the way undermining over four decades of commitments fundamental to the formal U.S.-China relationship.

With neither the U.S. nor China willingor ableto show a conciliatory attitude on the respective interests in Taiwan, observers fear prolonged and heightened tensions over the Taiwan Strait.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) speaks throughout a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on April 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. U.S. Senator Ed Markey has issued a statement as he confirms he is leading a team of representatives in a vacation to Taiwan.Al Drago/Getty

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