Two Chinas? Senator Blackburn calls Taiwan an ‘independent nation’ during visit to the island
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Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee countered decades of tricky political terminology Friday when she met with Taiwanese officials and called the island an « independent nation, » in a move that is sure to upset China.
Blackburn, in a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and in a series of online and in-person addresses, called Taiwan an independent entity. Official US government policy considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory.
« We look forward to continuing to help and support Taiwan as they progress as an independent nation, » Blackburn told Tsai in a televised meeting.
Blackburn made a similar point when she said: « I look forward to a wonderful visit. And yes indeed I fondly remember my visit in 2008 and the opportunity to see some of your country firsthand. »
SEN. BLACKBURN IN TAIWAN: CHINA’S ‘INTIMIDATION’ TACTICS MUST STOP, US MUST LIMIT CCP ‘AGRESSION’
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes to the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone. China considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory, while the island’s government rejects such claims and has operated as a self-governing democracy – officially known as the Republic of China – since 1949.
SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN LANDS IN TAIWAN FOR SURPRISE VISIT AFTER CALLING CHINA ‘NEW AXIS OF EVIL’
The United States has no official relations with Taiwan – also known as the Republic of China – and maintains a « One China » policy that recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the rightful successor nation.
Beijing is demanding that countries seeking relations with China sever all formal ties with Taiwan, although the United States has maintained informal ties with the island government.
« I just landed in Taiwan to send a message to Beijing – we will not be intimidated, » the senator wrote online. « The United States remains committed to preserving freedom around the world and will not tolerate efforts aimed at undermining our nation and our allies. »
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“One of the reasons I came to Taipei to have these conversations with the leaders of Taiwan is that we cannot afford to let the Chinese Communist Party write the foreign policy of the world,” Blackburn told his audience. .