WASHINGTON: On the eve of the crucial US-China meeting in Alaska, a group of 20 influential lawmakers urged President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to lend support for Taiwan, raise the issue of its aggressive acts in South China Sea and against its neighbours, including India.
“While the United States is focused on encouraging multilateralism in the South China Sea, China continuously undermines these efforts, engages in malign and aggressive activity in the Indo-Pacific region, and commits egregious human rights atrocities. China shamelessly demonstrates a blatant disregard for human rights and a lack of respect for international diplomacy,” wrote the lawmakers led by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson on Thursday.
“It commits horrific genocide against its own Uyghur population, attacks Hong Kong’s democracy, engages in unwarranted combat at the India-China Line of Actual Control, and incessantly increases the militarization of the Taiwan Strait. Clearly, the CCP is not aligned with American interests or values,” they wrote.
“As we work to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations in the region, China abuses its economic power through coercive trade policies that aim to force vulnerable countries to alter their trade relationships with the US. These unfair practices directly hurt US farmers and producers, as China treats them as pawns in its quest for global influence,” said the lawmakers in their letter addressed jointly to Biden, Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The lawmakers said it is imperative that the Biden administration stands up to China’s attempts to dismantle democracy and reaffirm that US support for Taiwan is non-negotiable.
“Taiwan has become one of our strongest allies over the past forty years; the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances demonstrate the unwavering, bipartisan support of this important relationship. Taiwan has proven its commitment to the United States time after time, most recently by removing barriers to trade to create an important market for US agriculture producers and communicating its desire to engage in security issues in the South China Sea,” they wrote.
The lawmakers commended Biden and the leaders of Japan, Australia, and India on their quadrilateral cooperation, particularly as it relates to their joint effort to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We respectfully suggest you welcome the important perspective of allies in the Indo-Pacific region, such as Taiwan, while you continue these discussions. Taiwan, which provided the US with direct support through personal protective equipment donations at the beginning of the pandemic, would be a valuable voice at the international table,” the lawmakers said.