Another group of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, only 12 days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited the island, a sign that the US has no plans to ease tensions with Beijing.
The delegation is being led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and is expected to meet with high-level Taiwanese officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen. The delegation also includes House Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a Republican delegate from American Samoa.
China has yet to comment on the delegation and will likely respond with more military exercises around Taiwan. Since Pelosi visited the island, the first House speaker to do so since 1997, China responded with its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan, which broke decades-old tacit understandings it had Taiwan about areas Beijing’s military would enter.
Markey didn’t announce his plans to visit Taiwan, which is typical of congressional delegations to the island. Pelosi’s visit was leaked to the press a few weeks ahead of time, giving China time to make clear that it would respond.
Congressional delegations to Taiwan have become more frequent in recent years as Washington increasingly views the island as a way to counter Beijing. To China, the delegations are a provocation because they are a sign that the US is moving away from the one-China policy. Pelosi’s trip was more provocative than other delegations since she is such a high-level official.