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U.S. senator visits Taiwan to strengthen ties, lend support

2018/05/26 16:39:21

Joseph Wu (吳釗燮)

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) United States Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) will arrive in Taipei Saturday on an impromptu visit to discuss how best his country can help Taiwan in the current challenging diplomatic landscape and how they can strengthen their bilateral relationship, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Gardner, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, decided the night before his departure from the U.S. to include Taiwan in his official tour of Asia, as China upped its suppression of Taiwan on the international and diplomatic fronts, MOFA said.

During Gardner's two-day visit to Taiwan on the first leg of his tour, he will meet with high-ranking government officials and attend a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), according to a statement released by MOFA.

The visit comes just one day after Gardner and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at developing a policy for the U.S. to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations.

The bill was in response to the unprecedented pressure imposed by China on international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to exclude Taiwan, Gardner said.

Gardner has signed multiple petitions, including one to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to ask that Taiwan be allowed to participate as an observer in this year's World Health Assembly.

The Colorado senator has also petitioned United Airlines and American Airlines, asking them to resist Beijing's demand that they change Taiwan's designation on their websites.

(By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)
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