U.S. officials touch down in Taiwan

Foreign Affairs

The visit of six U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan follows earlier rumors of an intended visit by U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi — which was postponed because she tested positive for COVID.

Illustration for SupChina by Derek Zheng

A bipartisan group of six U.S. lawmakers landed in Taiwan on Thursday — much to Beijing’s displeasure — as part of an unannounced visit to show Washington’s “rock-solid” support for the self-ruled island.

  • The delegation, led by Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, is set to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文 Cài Yīngwén) and the island’s defense minister on Friday during their two-day visit.

The United States does not have any formal country-to-country relations with Taiwan, but is the island’s most important international backer and supplier of arms and rhetorical support.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhào Lìjiān 赵立坚 hit out at the visit today, saying, “China is firmly opposed to any form of official exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan,” adding that the U.S. should “abide by the one-China principle.”

The U.S. delegation had stopped earlier in Australia, where it warned that the Solomon Islands could fall further under Chinese influence amid a controversial security pact between the two nations. Japan is planned to be the next stop on the group’s tour.

Nadya Yeh