Five members of the House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for a short trip said to be focused on military issues. It marked the second time this month that a congressional delegation visited the island, demonstrating Washington’s focus on the region.
The delegation included Reps Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Mark Takano (D-CA), Colin Allred (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), and Nancy Mace (R-SC). “The congressional delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” the US’s de facto embassy in Taiwan said.
Xavier Chang, a spokesman for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, said the delegation reflects Washington’s bipartisan support for Taiwan. “In just a month, another group of US congressmen came to Taiwan for visit, which reflects the solid friendship between Taiwan and the US, but also represents the bipartisan support of Taiwan from the Congress,” Chang said.
According to The South China Morning Post, the lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on a US military C40-C transport plane. On November 9th, a group of Senate and House Republicans traveled to the island, also on a military plane. Before this year, US congressional delegations typically traveled to Taiwan aboard unmarked private jets, and the visits via military aircraft are seen as an intentional provocation aimed at Beijing.
The visits to Taiwan come as there is strong support in Congress for giving military aid to Taipei. Republicans in the Senate have introduced legislation that would give Taiwan billions in military aid each year.