TAIPEI, Taiwan — A bipartisan delegation from the United States Congress reaffirmed support for Taiwan during a visit Thursday following its election of a new president. The delegation's visit is the first by U.S. lawmakers to the island since the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party won a third-straight term in the Jan. 13 election.
China, America's chief competitor for global influence, claims Taiwan as its own territory and threatens to use force to bring the self-governed island under its control. Beijing strongly condemned Lai Ching-te's election and appears set to continue its policy of refusing to engage with the island's government — a practice that's been in place since outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen's election in 2016.
“The support of the United States for Taiwan is firm. It's real, and it is 100% bipartisan,” U.S. Representative Mario Díaz Balart said.
Balart, a Florida Republican, was joined by California Democrat Ami Bera. “In the 21st century, there's no place for aggressive action. We have to learn to live together, to trade together, to work together, to solve problems together,” Bera said.
“Just know that we are proud of the people of Taiwan. We are proud of the relationship, and as strong as that relationship has always been. That is assured. It will even be stronger,” Balart said.
“So, we look forward to working together to continue to protect the peace, prosperity (and) the…