ANI Photo | US House representatives affirm support for Taiwan amid escalating Chinese pressure

Members of the United States House of Representatives, during their visit on Wednesday, affirmed their support for Taiwan amid growing pressure from China and pledged to foster stronger bilateral relations across various sectors, Focus Taiwan reported.
Recently, the US Senate successfully passed a USD 95 billion package aimed at providing aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, CNN reported.
During the meeting in Taipei, Lisa McClain, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told President Tsai Ing-wen “We have come to understand more and more the importance of a strong relationship between the US and Taiwan.
Daily, Taiwan faces “threats from the Chinese Communist Party, whether it’s military actions over your skies, aggressive maneuvers in your waters, or economic pressures,” she said.
The MND has issued daily reports on Chinese military activities for the past few years, including identifying those Chinese aircraft, drones, and balloons that have crossed the Taiwan Strait median line to the Taiwan side.
Recently on Tuesday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence detected six Chinese naval vessels and two military aircraft around the country between 6 am on April 22 and 6 am on April 23, Taiwan News reported.
So far this month, Taiwan has tracked Chinese military aircraft 205 times and naval vessels 137 times.
Further, McClain commended the people of Taiwan for “constantly fighting for freedoms,” noting that the “bond” between Taiwan and the US built on similar values is “strong and enduring.”
“Let no one doubt today our support for you, Taiwan, for your people, and our bright future together,” said Mark Alford, who also sits on the House Armed Services Committee.
“We stand together,” he went on, “we must be ready to stand united against the forces of aggression and together promote the ideals of freedom and democracy in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Moreover, he added that the US must reduce its backlog in delivering foreign military sales to Taiwan quickly and maintain its capacity to resist resorting to force or other forms of coercion that could jeopardize Taiwan’s security, as per Focus Taiwan.
At the same time, Taiwan and the US should continue strengthening trade, trying to eliminate double taxation, and working to elevate Taiwan’s standing and influence on the world stage, he added.
Before the meeting with Tsai, the US lawmakers also met with President-elect Lai Ching-te and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as part of their visit to Taiwan from April 23-25.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is battling a sustained Chinese espionage campaign and to root out those spies, the legislators of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have proposed an amendment to strip benefits from military retirees who have received suspended sentences for espionage-related offences, Taipei Times reported.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Puma Shen alleged that China frequently uses retired military officers to “build bridges” with active-duty military personnel in Taiwan. They penetrate Taiwan’s active military leadership as part of a long-running Chinese operation to build a spy ring among serving and retired military officers.

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