House China Committee Makes First Taiwan Visit Amid Beijing’s ‘Bullying’

US

A seven-member delegation of Congress‘s Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party arrived in Taipei Thursday, led by arch China-hawk Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

“Time and again Taiwan has shown the world how to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party’s bullying and not only survive but thrive. We are thrilled to be in Taipei to show support for our friends in Taiwan, President-elect Lai, and the newly elected Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s unicameral legislature),” Gallagher said in a statement released by the committee.

“The United States stands with Taiwan,” he said, adding that Washington and Taipei can “enhance peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” by encouraging closer economic and leadership ties.

Asked by the media Thursday about the nearly $20 billion in backlogged U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Gallagher, who made waves earlier this month by announcing he wouldn’t seek another term in congress, said the delays are exacerbated by jurisdictional division of process between the defense and state departments.

“But this is a problem that can be solved,” he said. The 39-year-old legislator said long-term appropriations for key munitions like Harpoon anti-ship missiles should be set aside for Taiwan.

Newsweek reached out to Gallagher’s office with a written request for comment.

The committee’s ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) suggested Washington and Taipei decide on weapons that can be jointly produced within Taiwan. He pointed to 155-millimeter artillery shells as one possible candidate, noting they are currently in short supply worldwide amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Visits to Taiwan by U.S. officials typically draw a heated response from China, whose ruling Chinese Communist Party government claims sovereignty over the island despite never having governed there.

Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi‘s August 2022 visit, the first of a sitting house speaker in 25 years, were followed by Chinese live-fire naval drills, a simulated blockade, and a missile flight over Taiwan. Increased People’s Liberation Army warplane sorties in the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait became the new norm.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China opposes any form of official interaction between the US and Taiwan authorities and rejects US interference in Taiwan affairs in whatever form or under whatever pretext,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at the ministry’s daily press conference Thursday.

She called on Washington to “be mindful of the extreme complexity and sensitivity of the Taiwan question,” to abide by the “one-China principle” and other agreements underpinning U.S.-China relations, and to break off contact with the island’s leadership.

According to the “one-China principle” that the U.S. agreed to in 1979 as it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing,” Washington “acknowledges” Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China. This word, which stops short of “accepts,” has for decades been viewed in the U.S. as allowing ambiguity for de facto relations with the self-island.

“We extend our sincerest welcome to the first committee on the CCP delegation, the,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote Thursday on X (formerly Twitter). “This post-election visit reflects a shared commitment to supporting democratic Taiwan,” the ministry said.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, left, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, greets Taiwan’s President Lai-Ching-te, right. Gallagher’s delegation arrived in Taipei on February 22, 2024, for a three-day…


Select Committee on the CCP