House Republicans heap praise on Taiwan’s new leader in direct jab at China

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FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans are making a formal show of support for Taiwan’s newly elected president on Thursday in a move that’s likely to irritate Beijing’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In a letter sent to President-elect Lai Ching-te and signed by six GOP lawmakers, they vowed to help the island withstand Chinese ‘pressure’ and accused Beijing of continuing its campaign of aggression against its neighbors in Southeast Asia.

‘We want to offer our sincere congratulations on your recent victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. Once again, the Taiwanese people have demonstrated the strength of your country’s robust democratic system in a region where these values are not always shared,’ the U.S. lawmakers wrote.

‘Strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan relationship remains one of our top priorities, especially in light of China’s growing aggression.’

The letter was led by Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas.

Lai’s election by Taiwanese voters was not unexpected but is still a rebuke of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his goal of ‘reunification’ between the two territories. 

Taiwan’s independence has also been a flashpoint in the strained relations between the U.S. and China, particularly over the island’s booming semiconductor industry. 

Semiconductors are critical components in a range of electronic devices from smartphones to satellites and bank ATMs.

The U.S. lawmakers wrote to Lai on Thursday, ‘We look forward to working with you and your administration to advance our partnership and assist Taiwan from rampant diplomatic, economic, and military pressure from Beijing.’

They also congratulated Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, who previously served as Taiwan’s top envoy to the U.S.

‘Through your joint leadership, we are confident the Democratic Progressive Party will usher in the next stage for Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy. We welcome a new chapter in U.S.-Taiwan relations and look forward to collaborating with you to advance stability and growth in the Indo-Pacific region,’ the letter finished.

Lai favors upholding Taiwan’s strong relationship with the U.S. There are no formal diplomatic ties, however, because of the U.S.’s ‘One China’ policy that only recognizes Beijing’s government. 

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