DHARAMSALA, 26 Aug: I will not be bullied by the Chinese Communist Party, United States Sen. Marsha Blackburn says after landing in Taiwan on Thursday defying pressure from Beijing.
“I just landed in Taiwan to send a message to Beijing — we will not be bullied,” Senator Marsha Blackburn has said in a tweet in a sharp criticism of Beijing’s objection to her trip.
Senator Marsha Blackburn landed in Taiwan’s capital Taipei on board a US military aircraft to become the third US dignitary to visit the self-ruled island this month.
The Senator has described Taiwan as the “US strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific Region” in a statement on Thursday and added that “Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing US policy”.
Senator Blackburn who is on a three-day visit to the island has said in a tweet ahead of her scheduled meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday that Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t scare her and that she “will never kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party,” and “continue to stand with the (Taiwanese) and their right to freedom and democracy.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has stated that the Senator who is a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee will meet with Taiwan’s Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu l to “exchange views extensively on issues such as Taiwan-US security and economic and trade relations.”
Senator Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican’s visit came after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who visited Taiwan on 2 Aug followed nearly a week later by a group of five US lawmakers.
Infuriated by the US lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan, China’s embassy in Washington, DC has warned the US of unspecified “resolute countermeasures” for the “provocations”, Reuters reported.
Although the US has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.
Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.