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US lawmakers visit Taiwan in show of support for new president after China’s military drills

By JOHNSON LAI and KEN MORITSUGU
Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A U.S. congressional delegation met Taiwan’s new leader on Monday in a show of support shortly after China held drills around the self-governing island in response to his inauguration speech.

Rep. Andy Barr, the co-chair of the Taiwan caucus in the U.S. Congress, said the United States is fully committed to supporting Taiwan militarily, diplomatically and economically.

“There should be no doubt, there should be no skepticism in the United States, Taiwan or anywhere in the world, of American resolve to maintain the status quo and peace in the Taiwan Strait,” the representative from Kentucky said at a news conference after the delegation met Taiwan President Lai Ching-te.

Taiwan’s new foreign minister, Lin Chia-lung, noted the recent Chinese drills and called the American delegation’s visit “an important gesture of solidarity” at a critical time.

The delegation included both Republicans and Democrats and was led by Rep. Michael McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Texas Republican was sanctioned by China last year after he visited Taiwan in April.

The other members were Republicans Young Kim from California and Joe Wilson from South Carolina and Democrats Jimmy Panetta from California and Chrissy Houlahan from Pennsylvania.

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Moritsugu reported from Hong Kong.

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Follow AP’s Asia-Pacific coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

Article Topic Follows: ap-california-news

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