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Marsha Blackburn: US senator lands in Taiwan, vows not to be intimidated by China




CNN

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn became the latest member of Congress to visit Taiwan on Thursday, saying, “I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning its back on the island.”

Blackburn’s visit to the self-governing island follows by less than a month that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose trip was cited by Beijing as the trigger for days of military exercises in scale in which China fired missiles at Taiwan and sent waves flying. of warplanes in its air defense identification zone.

China’s ruling Communist Party says Taiwan is part of its territory, although it has never ruled it, and has refused to rule out the use of force to control it. Taiwan authorities said the Chinese military drills simulated a possible attack on the island.

The United States, through the Taiwan Relations Act, is legally required to provide Taipei with defensive weapons, but it remains deliberately vague about whether it would defend the island in the event of a Chinese attack.

Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Taiwan “our strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“I look forward to hearing directly from the country’s leaders about their needs and how we can support the freedom of the Taiwanese people,” she said. when he arrived on a US government plane.

In tweets Friday morning, the US senator reiterated her support.

“I will never bow down to the Chinese Communist Party,” she said in one.

“I will continue to support the (Taiwanese) and their right to freedom and democracy. Xi Jinping doesn’t scare me,” she added later, referring to the Chinese leader.

Blackburn is due to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday morning, and will also meet National Security Council Secretary General Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu during his three-day visit, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.

China had no immediate comment on Blackburn’s visit, but has made clear its anger since Pelosi’s visit with the military drills and statements saying the actions of US politicians and government police are threatening the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

China’s Foreign Ministry condemned Pelosi for what it described as his “vicious and provocative actions”, saying his trip to Taiwan amounted to “serious interference in China’s internal affairs”.

“United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan in defiance of China’s serious concerns and strong opposition, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, seriously harming to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously violating the one-China principle and seriously threatening peace and peace. stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said.


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