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U.S. Lawmakers Visit Taiwan and Vow Support in Face of Chinese Military Drills

After China performed two days of military drills intended to punish Taiwan, Representative Michael McCaul of Texas on Monday stood alongside the island nation’s newly elected president, Lai Ching-te, and issued a promise.

“The United States must maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or coercion that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” Mr. McCaul, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “That is what we stand for, and that is what we continue to say.”

Mr. McCaul, a Republican, traveled this week to Taipei with a bipartisan delegation of other American lawmakers in an attempt, he said, to show that the U.S. government stood in lock step with Mr. Lai and Taiwan.

The trip, which will last through the week, comes at a fraught time: Just days after Mr. Lai was sworn into office and vowed in his inaugural address to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, China responded by surrounding the self-governing island with naval vessels and military aircraft. Before the lawmakers arrived, the Chinese government had publicly warned them to “seriously abide by the one-China policy” and “not to schedule any congressional visit to Taiwan.”

Just a few days ago, China “conducted two days of military drills in the Taiwan Strait to express their displeasure with President Lai,” Lin Chia-lung, Taiwan’s foreign minister, told Mr. McCaul at a news conference on Monday.

“You can say in this critical time, it is a powerful display,” Mr. Lin added.

Even as many Republicans in Congress balked at providing continued U.S. military aid to Ukraine, support for Taiwan has remained a largely bipartisan endeavor. A number of conservatives have argued that the United States should pull back its investments in Ukraine and instead bolster deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. In April, the House voted to approve $8 billion for Taiwan in a lopsided 385-to-34 vote.

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