Six House Republicans Urge Kamala Harris to Meet With Taiwan’s Vice President

Such a meeting would almost certainly provoke major Chinese military drills around Taiwan

Six House Republicans have sent a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris urging her to meet with Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te when he stops in the US next month on his way to and from Paraguay, one of the few countries that has diplomatic relations with Taipei.

Lai is scheduled to visit Paraguay on August 15. According to Taipei Times, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Lai is expected to “transit the United States on both the incoming and outgoing legs” of his trip. Neither the US nor Taiwan have said if Lai will meet with any US officials while visiting the country.

Beijing is opposed to meetings between US and Taiwanese government officials as it views them as a violation of Washington’s one-China policy. When Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen traveled through the US in April, she met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the highest-level meeting between US and Taiwan that’s taken place inside the US since 1979, when Washington formally severed diplomatic ties with Taipei.

The Tsai-McCarthy meeting provoked major Chinese military drills around Taiwan, and that would almost certainly be the result of a Harris-Lai meeting. The letter to Harris, which was shared by Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI), said Lai’s visit gave her the opportunity to make use of the Taiwan Travel Act, which became law in 2018 and encourages contacts between US and Taiwanese officials.

The Taiwan Travel Act says that it should be US policy to “allow officials at all levels of the United States Government” to travel to Taiwan to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts. It says it should also “allow high-level officials of Taiwan to enter the United States, under conditions which demonstrate appropriate respect for the dignity of such officials, and to meet with officials of the United States.”

The letter notes that Harris supported the Taiwan Travel Act when she was a senator. “Mr. Lai’s transit here in August will provide you with a key opportunity to make use of this law — and do as vice president what you voted for as a lawmaker,” it reads. The letter was signed by Tiffany and five other Republican House members, Reps. Andy Ogles (R-TN), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Scott DesJarlais (R-TN).

China has already warned against Lai visiting the US and said it’s a priority to stop the trip. From Beijing’s perspective, the visit is likely more sensitive because Lai is running for president as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s nominee. Elections are scheduled for January 2024, and Lai has been leading the polls.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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