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China Protests as Republican Senators Visit Taiwan

Senadores republicanos visitaron Taiwán ante protesta del Partido Comunista de China

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A group of U.S. senators and congressmen concluded a three-day visit to Taiwan about which no details were officially released and which provoked a protest from Beijing.

Taiwan’s CNA news agency reported that the delegation took off Thursday from the island for Dubai at 7:20 p.m. local time (11:20 GMT).

According to the source, the lawmakers visited Thursday the headquarters of the semiconductor company TSMC, one of the world’s largest producers of these components, and then went to the Confucius temple in the town of Hsinchu.

Neither the company nor the municipality offered details about the visits, following the lead of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry limited itself to explaining that the trip was organized by the American Institute of Taiwan (Washington’s ‘de facto’ embassy on the island, since in 1979 the United States broke off official diplomatic relations with Taipei in favor of Beijing), and that the authorities provided “administrative assistance” and assistance related to covid-19 prevention measures.

For its part, Beijing accused Washington of “violating peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, and considered the presence of the legislators “an act of provocation”, while announcing military maneuvers in the area.

The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post published this week that the delegation was composed of at least 6 political representatives, including Senators John Cornyn (Texas) and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama), Mike Crapo (Idaho) and Mike Lee (Utah), as well as Congressman Jake Ellzey (Texas), all from the Republican Party.

The delegation arrived last Tuesday aboard a U.S. military plane from Manila.

The previous time that American representatives traveled to Taiwan was last June, while in April another group did the same, in what was the first occasion since the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House.