U.S. senator arrives in Taiwan, defying angry Beijing

U.S. senator arrives in Taiwan, defying angry Beijing
# 26 August 2022 02:14 (UTC +04:00)

A U.S. lawmaker on the Senate Commerce and Armed Services committees arrived in Taiwan on Thursday on the third visit by a U.S. dignitary this month, defying pressure from Beijing to halt the trips, APA reports citing CNN.

Senator Marsha Blackburn arrived in Taiwan's capital Taipei on board a U.S. military aircraft, live television footage from the downtown Songshan Airport showed. She was welcomed on the airport tarmac by Douglas Hsu, director general of Taiwan's foreign affairs ministry, Blackburn's office said.

"Taiwan is our strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific Region. Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing U.S. policy," Blackburn said in a statement. "I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning my back on the island."

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory against the strong objections of the democratically elected government in Taipei, launched military drills near the island after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited in early August.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said Blackburn was due to meet President Tsai Ing-wen during her trip, which ends on Saturday, as well as top security official Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

"The two sides will exchange views extensively on issues such as Taiwan-U.S. security and economic and trade relations," the ministry added in a brief statement.

Taiwan's presidential office said Tsai will meet Blackburn on Friday morning. The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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