US Congressional delegation arrives in Taiwan after China holds 2-day military drills

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Following a two-day large-scale military exercise by China surrounding Taiwan, a bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taipei to hold talks on US-Taiwan relations with the newly-sworn president Lai Ching-te administration, reported Taiwan News. The delegation, including Michael McCaul, the Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arrived in Taipei on Sunday for a week of talks and will conclude their visit on May 30.

During their visit, the delegation is expected to hold talks on US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, as well as other issues of mutual interest, according to a press release by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). McCaul said that the bipartisan group’s visit to Taiwan this week “sends a signal to the Chinese Communist Party that the United States stands with the people of Taiwan and will work to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”

The visit was announced last week by Congress member Michael McCaul, who is also part of a larger visit that will include other stops in the Indo-Pacific region, the American Institute in Taiwan stated. McCaul of Texas is accompanied by a congressional delegation, including Representatives Young Kim and Jimmy Panetta of California, Joe Wilson of South Carolina, Andy Barr of Kentucky, and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Taiwan News reported.

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The delegation is expected to meet with Taiwan President Lai Ching-te, with their visit occurring one week after his inauguration. The congressional visit also comes after China concluded two days of military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday. US Representative Jimmy Panetta said that the trip demonstrates the “necessary partnership” between Taiwan and the US. “I look forward to congratulating President Lai Ching-te on his inauguration and continuing to strengthen the bond between our two nations,” Panetta said.