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Trio of senators to visit Taiwan amid China tensions

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The de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan announced on Saturday that three U.S. senators will make a trip this weekend to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss security, among other issues.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) are set to visit on Sunday, as just one part of a larger trip to the region, the American Institute in Taiwan said in a statement.

Duckworth and Sullivan are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee while Coons is on the Senate Foreign Relations panel.

“The bipartisan congressional delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” the institute said.

While the United States does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which China claims government control over, the U.S. has supplied the island with arms.

Reuters reported that Tsai’s office expressed gratitude for the senators’ show of support during a time in which the island is struggling with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Taiwan has alleged that it has been blocked by China from receiving coronavirus vaccines from other countries, though Beijing has denied those claims.

Last month, China pushed back on the U.S.’s request to include Taiwan in a meeting with the World Health Organization

A spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry called the move “detrimental to future global response to public health crises” and noted at the time that it “seriously violates the ‘one-China principle.’ ” 

Tags China Chris Coons Christopher Coons Dan Sullivan Taiwan Tammy Duckworth Tsai Ing-Wen

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