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U.S. Congressional Delegation on Provocative Visit to Taiwan

A U.S. Congressional delegation is in Taipei, showing its full support for newly inaugurated Taiwan President President Lai Ching-te. “We have to provide that deterrence here,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a joint press briefing with Taiwanese Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung on May 27, [reported Bloomberg]( Lin called the trip an “important gesture of solidarity that shows America stands firmly with democratic Taiwan.”

Lai met with the delegation in the morning and said Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the U.S.. He also cited former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s notion of “peace through strength” and pledged to bolster national defense. McCaul said he had “very direct conversations” with Lai about the threat Taiwan faces from China. “What they did in the last couple of days was essentially a preview of what a blockade would look like,” he told reporters. “The key is to make sure the island has the weapons necessary for deterrence.”

Also in the group were Rep. Young Kim (R-CA); Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC); Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA); Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY); and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced the Congressional visit during her regular press conference this morning. “In disregard of China’s strong opposition, relevant members of the U.S. Congress still decided to visit Taiwan, which violates the one-China principle, the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and the U.S. government’s own political commitment to maintaining only unofficial relations with the Taiwan region, and sends a severely wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces,” she said. “China firmly opposes it and has made serious protests to the U.S.. We will take necessary measures to firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Mao called on the members of Congress “to stop playing the “Taiwan card,” stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop supporting and conniving at “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, and stop undermining China-U.S. relations and cross-Strait peace and stability.”

At the same time, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is reportedly sailing in the South China Sea while U.S. Marines are in the Philippines practicing for an “island hopping” campaign against China.