“When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office got a clear message from the Chinese Embassy asking me to stop traveling,” Representative Alyssa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, said. wrote on Twitter on Thursday, “The auto industry’s largest supplier of microchips is here in Taiwan, so supply chain issues will definitely be on the agenda.”
Slotkin said the visit to Taiwan came after celebrating Thanksgiving with US troops in South Korea and that the stop would be “good to engage with leaders here to discuss economic and national security issues.”
Taiwan holds a fraught position in deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, as China has increased its military posture and warplanes flights around the self-ruled island.
The bipartisan congressional delegation, which arrived Thursday, is led by House Veterans Affairs Chairman Mark Takano, a California Democrat, and includes fellow panel members Slotkin and Reps. Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat, and Nancy Mays, a South Carolina Republican, as well as Representative Sarah Jacobs, a California Democrat, according to Reuters, who first reported the trip.
News of the lawmakers’ visit comes a day after the Biden administration extended an invitation to Taiwan for a “summit for democracy” that will take place next month – a decision the Chinese government dubbed a “mistake”. Reuters informed of.
“We are encouraging that they do exactly what the Taiwan Act requires,” he continued, referring to a 1979 law setting out the US approach to the island. “That’s what we’re doing. Let them make their decision. Period.”
Describing his position as he greeted attendees after his infrastructure speech that day, Biden said he had made limited progress on the subject with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“We made it very clear that we support the Taiwan Act, and that’s it,” he said at the time.
“Its freedom,” he went on. “It makes its own decisions.”
The word “independence” is a trigger when it comes to Taiwan; Officially, the US does not support the independence of the island. Instead, the countries enjoy informal ties and the US provides defensive aid.
CNN’s Rachel Janfaza and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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