US senator in Taiwan amid tensions with China

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A U.S. senator arrived in Taipei on Thursday, bringing the number of visits by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan this month to three, amid ongoing military tensions between the island and China.

Marsha Blackburn, a Republican senator from Tennessee who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is due to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry announced.

She will also meet with National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, the ministry said in a statement.

“The two sides will discuss the US-Taiwan relationship in security, economics and trade,” the statement said.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marsha Blackburn had expressed her support for Nancy Pelosi after the visit of the speaker of the American House of Representatives to the island.

“We must stand with Taiwan and I admire the courage of Nancy Pelosi, who submitted neither to Joe Biden nor to the (Chinese Communist Party),” she wrote on Twitter.

This visit sparked the ire of Beijing, which then conducted large-scale military exercises around Taiwan.

The Chinese military conducted new drills near the island after US parliamentarians traveled to Taiwan for a two-day visit.

(Ben Blanchard report, French version Augustin Turpin and Camille Raynaud, edited by Kate Entringer and Sophie Louet)


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