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Second U.S. congressional group in Taiwan since Lai's inauguration

05/29/2024 11:47 AM
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President Lai Ching-te (front right) greets U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo May 29, 2024
President Lai Ching-te (front right) greets U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo May 29, 2024

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) A second group of United States members of Congress visiting Taiwan since President Lai Ching-te's (賴清德) inauguration on May 20 arrived in the country Wednesday.

During the group's two-day stay in Taiwan, it will meet with Lai and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press release said.

The group consists of Senators Tammy Duckworth, Dan Sullivan, Chris Coons, and Laphonza Butler, all of whom are Democrats except for Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska.

Duckworth, Sullivan and Coons previously visited Taiwan in 2021 to announce that the U.S. would donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, when the country needed them most at the height of the global pandemic.

Another bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation led by Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is also in Taiwan until Thursday.

The two groups are in Taiwan to show support after China ended a military drill that encircled Taiwan following Lai's inauguration speech, which Beijing believed advocated Taiwan independence.

The trip is meant to "underscore and reaffirm our nation's strong bipartisan support for the Taiwanese people" following Lai's inauguration, said Duckworth, an Iraq war combat veteran and member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a separate statement.

"I've always believed that if America wants to remain a global leader, we have to show up and support our friends like Taiwan ... who are facing escalating threats from the PRC as they work to strengthen their own democracy," Duckworth said in the statement.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Joseph Yeh)

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