Congressional support for Taiwan is ‘extremely strong’ as US lawmaker reassures President


The chairman of the US House of Representatives on China said that support for Taiwan was ‘extremely strong’ in a meeting with the country’s newly-elected President. 

Mike Gallagher heads the five-member delegation that met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te yesterday.

The duo had won last month’s presidential election and will take office in May.

‘I actually think support for Taiwan in the United States Congress… I see growing and extremely strong support for Taiwan,’ Gallagher told media. 

Gallagher, a vocal critic of China, added that he believed US support for Taiwan would be unaffected by the result of his country’s 2024 presidential election.

Mike Gallagher (left) chairman of the US House of Representatives on China said US support for Taiwan was 'extremely strong'

Mike Gallagher (left) chairman of the US House of Representatives on China said US support for Taiwan was ‘extremely strong’ 

Gallagher, a vocal critic of China, added that he believed US support for Taiwan would be unaffected by the result of his country's 2024 presidential election

Gallagher, a vocal critic of China, added that he believed US support for Taiwan would be unaffected by the result of his country’s 2024 presidential election

‘I am very confident that support for Taiwan will continue regardless of who occupies the White House,’ he said.

He also said any attempts made by Beijing to invade Taiwan would be ‘incredibly foolish’.

‘If Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party were to ever make the incredibly foolish decision to attempt an invasion of Taiwan… that effort would fail,’ he said during the meeting with Lai.

Earlier, President Tsai welcomed the US lawmakers, saying the visit demonstrated ‘staunch US support for Taiwan’s democracy through concrete action’.

‘We will continue to advance our international partnerships and engage with the world. In 2024, we hope to see even more Taiwan-US exchanges in a range of domains,’ she said.

The delegation will stay until Saturday as part of a larger visit to the region, the American Institute in Taiwan, Washington’s de facto embassy in Taipei said in a statement.

Accompanying Gallagher are US Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, John Moolenaar, Dusty Johnson, and Seth Moulton.

The delegation’s visit will focus on US-Taiwan relations, regional security and trade and other issues, a statement from Gallagher’s committee said.

He also said any attempts made by Beijing to invade Taiwan would be 'incredibly foolish'

He also said any attempts made by Beijing to invade Taiwan would be ‘incredibly foolish’ 

Earlier, President Tsai welcomed the US lawmakers, saying the visit demonstrated 'staunch US support for Taiwan's democracy through concrete action'

Earlier, President Tsai welcomed the US lawmakers, saying the visit demonstrated ‘staunch US support for Taiwan’s democracy through concrete action’

In November 2023, US President Joe Biden hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (pictured) for a summit on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting, with the two agreeing to restore military communications

In November 2023, US President Joe Biden hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (pictured) for a summit on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting, with the two agreeing to restore military communications

The United States is Taiwan’s most important ally, and the island has been at the center of tensions with China, which claims it as its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to bring it under Beijing‘s control.

While the United States does not formally recognize Taiwan, it is the island’s main ally and supplier of military equipment – a thorn in ties between Washington and Beijing.

The US State Department authorized the sale of a $75 million advanced tactical data link system to Taiwan yesterday, according to a Pentagon statement.

Taiwan’s defense ministry welcomed the move, saying in a statement that ‘the US provides us with the means to enhance our ability to meet current and future threats’.

Ahead of his election win, Lai, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), vowed to defend the island against China’s ‘intimidation’.

Relations between the United States and China have been fraught for years, with tensions simmering over a gamut of issues, including trade, alleged espionage, human rights and foreign policy.

Tensions have eased markedly in the last year after a series of high-level meetings between US and Chinese officials.

In November 2023, US President Joe Biden hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for a summit on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting, with the two agreeing to restore military communications.

The US State Department authorized the sale of a $75 million advanced tactical data link system to Taiwan yesterday, according to a Pentagon statement

The US State Department authorized the sale of a $75 million advanced tactical data link system to Taiwan yesterday, according to a Pentagon statement

Beijing has called Lai a 'troublemaker' and a 'separatist', and reacted to his victory by warning against taking any steps towards formal independence, which the president-elect has said he opposed

Beijing has called Lai a ‘troublemaker’ and a ‘separatist’, and reacted to his victory by warning against taking any steps towards formal independence, which the president-elect has said he opposed

Beijing has called Lai a ‘troublemaker’ and a ‘separatist’, and reacted to his victory by warning against taking any steps towards formal independence, which the president-elect has said he opposed.

‘If anyone on the island of Taiwan thinks of going for independence, they will be… trying to split China, and will certainly be harshly punished by both history and the law,’ Wang said at the time.

In January, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson reiterated that Beijing was ‘firmly opposed’ to all official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan after Lai met a visiting US delegation.

In the latest flare-up, Beijing on Wednesday accused Taipei of ‘seeking to… hide the truth’ about an incident where two Chinese nationals died following a confrontation between their fishing vessel and a Taiwanese coast guard boat in Taiwan-controlled waters.



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