US Lawmakers Arrive in Taiwan to Meet New President—Making Beijing Very Unhappy

AP Photo/Louise Delmotte

Taiwan recently elected a new president, and on Sunday, a bipartisan group of United States lawmakers arrived in Taiwan to meet with the island nation's new chief executive in a move which mainland China - that is to say, the Chinese Communist Party - is sure to be displeased with.


The bipartisan delegation of six House members is the first group of current U.S. officials to meet with Taiwan President Lai Ching-te and arrived after China concluded two days of “punishment” drills around the island in response to what it described as “separatist acts.” 

“I think it’s very important that we show our strong support for Taiwan. I think it is a deterrent,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told NBC News before their arrival.

The delegation led by McCaul is his second to the island, and also includes Reps. Young Kim, R-Calif., Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Andy Barr, R-Ky., Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa.

Beijing was not amused, but then, communists always seem to be a humorless lot.

In an email first obtained by NBC News, a Chinese Embassy official warned McCaul against the visit and described Lai’s inauguration speech on Monday as “the worst speech ever by a Taiwan new leader.”

“It once again proved that Mr. Lai has chosen an independence course and is on his way to implement it,” the email read.

The proper response by the United States of America to a Chinese Embassy official warning an elected representative of the State of Texas, no less, against visiting Taiwan, a free nation with an elected government, would be "tough noogies," or diplomatic words along those lines. It's to the credit of Representative McCaul that he ignored the admonition, as did the representatives of both parties who accompanied him.


See Related: China Builds Mock-Up of Key Government District in Taiwan - for Invasion Training? 

Biden and Xi Hold First Call Since 2022, China Promptly Deploys Ships and Warplanes Around Taiwan

At our sister site Townhall, Spencer Brown had this to say about the meeting:

The peaceful transfer of power that took place last week — now-former President Tsai Ing-wen was term-limited but participated in the formal hand-off to Lai — is just one sign of the vibrant, liberalized democracy that exists in Taiwan and has given rise to a booming economy bolstered by a rich culture. 

Despite being fewer than 150 miles from the Chinese Communist Party-run Chinese mainland where the PRC exerts totalitarian control, wages genocide against the Uyghurs, and oppresses its citizens, the humid air in the Republic of China on Sunday evening is that of a free country. Taiwan — dubbed the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” by General Douglas MacArthur — would very much like to keep it that way.

This is of course correct. Taiwan, or more correctly, the Republic of China, has been in a staring contest with the People's Republic of China across the Taiwan Strait since 1949, when Chiang Kai-Shek evacuated what remained of the original Republic of China's government to what was then the island of Formosa following the fall of the mainland to the Communists under Mao Zedong. Today, Taiwan should show no inclination towards reunification as long as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds sway on the mainland. China's increasing bellicosity in the region has not only Taiwan but also Japan, another U.S. ally, nervous about what the mainland Chinese might attempt.


At present, smart money says that the CCP probably isn't quite ready to try to drag Taiwan back under Beijing's control by force. But in a year, or five years, or ten years from now, things could be different, and the removal of a wealthy Pacific nation with a freely elected government would have a bad impact on all the nations of the West Pacific.

As of this writing, the Biden administration has not made any statement about this visit by American lawmakers.


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