A United States bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chair Mark Takano arrived in Taiwan last night aboard a C-40 Clipper military transport plane.
According to a press release issued by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, other members of the delegation include representatives Nancy Mace, Colin Allred, Elissa Slotkin, and Sara Jacobs.
The two-day visit is "part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region," said the American Institute in Taiwan in a press release last night, adding the delegation "will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed the visit, which marked the second US congressional delegation visit to the country this month.
In other news, about 10 parliamentarians from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are to visit Taipei for a government-led forum early next month, while also meeting with top government officials, MOFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The planned visit comes at a time when Taiwan is having more EU exchanges and when ties are warming with the bloc’s member states, especially Lithuania.
Last week, Taiwan opened a representative office in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, as part of an August deal that is also to see Lithuania open a representative office in Taipei early next year.
The Baltic delegation is to be led by Matas Maldeikis, a member of the Seimas, or Lithuania’s unicameral parliament, and an outspoken critic of what he described in an article in The Atlantic magazine as the “Chinese Communist Party’s espionage, interference in Europe’s political affairs and coercive behavior.”
Since the opening of Taiwan’s representative office, Beijing has taken punitive action against Lithuania by downgrading their diplomatic ties and posting a charge d’affaires, not an ambassador, to Vilnius.
Support from lawmakers for Taiwan’s attempts to counter Chinese aggression has gained traction in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, in part because of the Baltic states’ historic struggle gaining independence from the former Soviet Union.
Maldeikis told The Atlantic: “The human rights situation in China and growing control under [Chinese President] Xi Jinping [習近平] is very negatively seen by many in our society, which still remembers similar persecutions under Soviet rule in our own country.”
He wrote on Twitter: “Lithuania doesn’t get down on her knees for communists.”
In Taipei, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the visitors would stay in Taiwan for more than two days, without giving details about their itinerary.
Taiwan’s relations with European countries have warmed, and Taiwan friendship groups in Baltic countries have repeatedly backed Taiwan’s bid to participate in the international community, she said.
The government would continue to work with parliaments in the Baltic region in a bid to combat the expansionism of authoritarian regimes and to defend the universal values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law and human rights, Ou said.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan
LONG-TERM ALLIANCE: Using the company’s virtual development tools would help reduce cost and spur innovation at the research institute, an official said The Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered with Synopsys Taiwan to accelerate the development of next-generation semiconductors, with researchers being allowed to use the chip design company’s simulation tools, the National Applied Research Laboratories said yesterday. The institute is one of eight laboratories of the national research agency. The institute has signed a contract with Synopsys that allows researchers to use its simulation software — Sentaurus TCAD and Quantum ATK — free of charge, the agency said in a news release. The Synopsys Web site describes Sentaurus TCAD as an advanced 1D, 2D and 3D process simulator for developing and optimizing chip
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
EXTRADITION POSSIBLE? The suspect, who is quarantining upon arrival in Xiamen, is accused of killing a coffee trader on a street near his house in Sindian District The suspect in an execution-style murder of a businessman in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) has fled to China and officials are negotiating his extradition, the New Taipei City Police Department said on Tuesday. The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), took a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 2pm on that day to Xiamen, where he is staying in a quarantine hotel, as required by Chinese COVID-19 regulations, the department said. Investigators accuse Huang of shooting dead a local coffee trader surnamed He (何) on a street near his residence when he was returning from dropping off his daughter at her