(USNewsMag.com) – Taiwan recently elected its new president, and now House Republicans are formally declaring their support for the new leader, a move that will likely upset the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the two world powers continue to wrestle over influence over the East Asian nation.
Six Republican lawmakers from the House of Representatives sent a letter to Taiwan’s new President-elect on Thursday, Jan. 25, in which they promised Lai Ching-te that the US would help the nation resist “pressure” from China. The GOP lawmakers also accused Beijing of waging a campaign of aggression on its neighbors.
The Republicans congratulated Lai on his victory and said it was a sign that the people of Taiwan demonstrate a strong and “robust democratic system” while many others in the region don’t always share those values. They added that one of their “top priorities” is to strengthen America’s relationship with the East Asian nation, especially while China seems to grow more aggressive.
The letter, led by Republican Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas, comes as relations between China and the US continue to strain, especially over who will control the island nation’s semiconductor industry. The chips are crucial components in various electronics, from satellites and smartphones to bank ATMs and weapons systems. Taiwan is the largest manufacturer of the most advanced models of semiconductors, and supply chain shortages of the chips have already caused problems for the two nations.
The GOP lawmakers told Lai they “look forward to working” with him and his administration to advance the US-Taiwan partnership and to help the nation deal with the pressure coming from Beijing. They also congratulated Lai’s running mate, Hsiao Bikhim, now the Vice President-elect and a former envoy to the US.
Lai ran a campaign that upheld a strong relationship between Taiwan and America, even though no formal diplomatic ties exist as the US continues to adhere to its “One China” policy, which only recognizes the legitimacy of Beijing’s government.
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