US Lawmakers Visit Taiwan, Assure Bipartisan Support

US Lawmakers Visit Taiwan, Assure Bipartisan Support

Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party reaffirmed Thursday there is bipartisan support in Congress for Taiwan and its democracy.

Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi arrived in Taiwan on Thursday as part of a delegation of five committee members for a three-day visit to discuss issues including U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, and trade and investment.

“We’ve come as Democrats and Republicans to show our bipartisan support for this partnership, which, thanks to your leadership, I think is stronger and more rock-solid than ever,” Gallagher told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, according to the Taipei Times.

Other members of the delegation included Republican Reps. John Moolenaar of Michigan and Dusty Johnson of South Dakota and Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.

Gallagher praised Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and strong economy, adding Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections Jan. 13 “provided a role model for how elections should be conducted.” Later in the day, the delegation met with President-elect Lai Ching-te and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, the Times reported.

Taiwan is seen as a key U.S. ally in the Indo-Pacific region given that China has been flexing its military muscles by conducting several maritime exercises in the Taiwan Strait that separates the countries. Many Republican lawmakers are concerned that foreign policy weakness shown by President Joe Biden is tempting China to invade its much smaller neighbor.

“The United States Democrats and Republicans stand with Taiwan, for your freedom and for ours, for as Taiwan goes, so goes the world,” Gallagher said in a news conference, the Times reported. “Taiwan must remain as it stands today, a candle burning freely, fiercely, and improbably against the darkness.”

When asked what the U.S. could do in response to China’s attempts to poach Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, Gallagher urged U.S. lawmakers to “get to the region and express support.” He also backs a free-trade agreement with Taiwan to help the U.S. reduce its dependency on China for critical goods.

Taiwan has long been in favor of a free-trade agreement with the U.S., but Washington has been reluctant for fear of straining relations with Chian, according to the nonpartisan Atlantic Council.

“The Trump administration completely recalibrated the U.S.-China trade relationship, with most of these policies continued by the Biden administration,” the Atlantic Council wrote in January. “It is time that the United States similarly rethink its trade relationship with Taiwan, especially in light of [China’s] growing saber-rattling toward the island.”

Michael Katz ✉

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

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