U.S. congressional delegation leaves Taiwan after three-day low-key visit

11/11/2021 10:15 PM
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Taoyuan, Nov. 11 (CNA) A United States congressional delegation wrapped up their low-profile visit to Taiwan on Thursday night as they departed on board a civilian airline.

The delegation, which reportedly comprised four senators -- John Cornyn of Texas, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Mike Lee of Utah -- and two representatives including Representative Jake Ellzey of Texas and another unnamed member, was photographed arriving at the Taoyuan International Airport around 5:30 p.m. on a bus.

They did not speak to waiting media members. They later boarded an Emirates Airline flight which departed at 7:20 p.m. and was scheduled to head to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier Thursday, local media reports said the delegation had visited the headquarters of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, in the Hsinchu Science Park.

The delegation departed from TSMC at 1 p.m. and headed to the Hsinchu Confucius Temple, where they met with Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅).

TSMC refused to comment on the reported visit of the U.S. delegation.

The Hsinchu City government also declined to comment on the delegation's visit, saying only that the trip had been arranged by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which serves as the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei in the absence of diplomatic ties.

A flight tracker app showed that a U.S. Navy C-40 Clipper military transport plane had arrived in Taiwan Tuesday night from the Philippines, and according to reports, it was carrying the American congressional delegation.

Shortly after, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed the previously undisclosed visit but declined to provide any details on the length of the delegation's stay or itinerary in Taiwan, citing the wishes of the American lawmakers.

The delegation reportedly visited the Presidential Office and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday morning before heading to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) headquarters in Taipei's Dazhi district in the afternoon and were briefed on China's recent military intimidation efforts against Taiwan.

Both offices, however, also declined to comment on the reported visits Wednesday.

(By Wu Ruei-chi and Joseph Yeh)


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