Taiwan’s Tsai Hosts Another US Congressional Delegation in Taipei

The delegation was led by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), who expressed support for Taiwanese independence

On Tuesday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a US congressional delegation led by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), the second time within a week that a group of US lawmakers visited the island.

Hern is the head of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and expressed support for Taiwanese independence during a meeting with Tsai. While it operates as a de facto independent state, Taiwan has never formally declared independence from the mainland, as the issue is a major red line for Beijing.

Tsai has previously said there’s no need to declare independence because Taiwan is already independent. But it’s long been believed a formal declaration would trigger Chinese military action. In recent years, Chinese officials have been warning the US that any attempt to make Taiwan independent from China would mean war.

“Support for Taiwan as an independent and sovereign nation has been one of the founding principles of the RSC and has remained a top priority for 50 years,” Hern said in Taipei. “What an honor it would be to one day soon see Taiwan experience the same independence that our original 13 colonies enjoyed in the early days.”

Tsai thanked the delegation for congressional support for Taiwan’s military capabilities. “For many years, the US Congress has promoted numerous bills that support Taiwan’s efforts to upgrade its self-defense capabilities. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I express sincere gratitude to the US Congress and government for their backing,” she said.

Last week, Tsai met with a congressional delegation led by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chair of the House Armed Services Committee. The congressional visits anger China as Beijing opposes official contact between US and Taiwanese government officials. In August 2022, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan sparked the largest-ever Chinese military exercises around the island.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.