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Private Taiwan hosts dozens of foreign lawmakers in Washington to impose sanctions on China

Private Taiwan hosts dozens of foreign lawmakers in Washington to impose sanctions on China

Taiwan flags fly during a welcome party for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves (not pictured) outside the Presidential Palace in Taipei, Taiwan, August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington Hsiao Pye-Khim on Tuesday hosted dozens of international lawmakers who have backed sanctions against China over its aggression on the island, in a show of support for Taipei amid military pressure from Beijing.

The unannounced gathering of about 60 parliamentarians from Europe, Asia and Africa at Taiwan’s sweeping hilltop diplomatic palace in Washington – called Twin Oaks – is the latest step in Taipei’s efforts to persuade fellow democracies to stand against China since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, raising fears that Beijing is He could try to take over the island by force.

In Beijing, China responded on Wednesday that the fight for Taiwan independence and secession was a “stalemate,” however.

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The group, made up of members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) that will meet this week in Washington, is expected to sign a pledge to push their governments to adopt “greater deterrence against military actions or other coercive measures” by the People’s Republic of China. China (People’s Republic of China) against Taiwan, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

“We will campaign to ensure that our government signals to the People’s Republic of China that military aggression against Taiwan will cost Beijing dearly,” the draft reads.

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“Economic and political measures, including targeted sanctions, should be considered to deter military escalation, and to ensure that trade and other exchanges with Taiwan continue unimpeded.”

The draft added that relations between their two countries and Taiwan are not Beijing’s prerogative, and that they would push for increased mutual visits by lawmakers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring democratically governed Taiwan under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force.

Xi is due to secure a third five-year term at a Communist Party congress next month.

The Taiwan government firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Washington is considering imposing sanctions on China to deter it from invading Taiwan, while the European Union is facing diplomatic pressure from Taipei to do the same. Read more

“It is important to prove to the bully that we also have friends,” Hsiao told guests from countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, India, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Ukraine. by Reuters.

“We do not seek to provoke the bully, but we will not succumb to their pressure.”

She welcomed the Ukrainian representatives.

“We certainly hope that while the international community stands by Ukraine, the international community will also stand by Taiwan… so that together we can deter further aggression from China,” he added.

The IPAC pledge, expected to be signed on Wednesday, also calls on countries to secure supply chains from forced labor in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, and to pursue sanctions against Chinese officials for abuses in Hong Kong, and on Chinese companies supporting the Russian military. industry.

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In Beijing, in response to a question about the meeting and the pledge, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China firmly opposes official engagement with Taiwan by any country with which it has diplomatic relations.

“The DPP authorities’ collusion with outside forces and the pursuit of Taiwan independence and separatism is a dead end,” DPP spokesman Mao Ning said on Wednesday, referring to Taiwan’s ruling party, referring to Taiwan’s ruling party.

“The past years since its due”

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, who serves as co-chair of the US IPAC with Republican Marco Rubio, said at a Capitol briefing Tuesday that a US bill in support of Taiwan will face some changes during this scheduled review. week, but this “trend” will remain the same.

An initial version of this bill threatens to impose severe sanctions on China for any aggression against Taiwan, and will provide Taiwan with billions of dollars in foreign military financing in the coming years. Read more

Rubio said he believes the Biden administration is divided over how to deal with potential sanctions on China, and that although Beijing appears to be taking steps to isolate itself from such actions, Washington needs to be clear about the costs of hostility across the Taiwan Strait.

“It is important for us to be prepared to proactively plan – whether that is through legislation or through an executive declaration, exactly what the economic consequences will be if such aggressive action continues,” Rubio said at the press conference.

China conducted a blockade-style military drill around Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month, a reaction that Taiwanese officials attributed to spurring increased foreign involvement that Beijing sees as a violation of its territorial claims. Read more

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Taiwan is also urging Washington, its biggest arms supplier, to speed up deliveries of weapons already approved and which have faced delays due to supply chain issues and rising demand from the war in Ukraine.

Republican Representative Yong Kim, who wrote a bill to track US arms sales to Taiwan, told Reuters in an interview that Hsiao sent a strong message to Congress about ensuring that weapons systems reach Taiwan quickly.

“She’s said it in hundreds of different ways that we appreciate the United States trying to get the guns but don’t forget, it’s been many years since it was due,” Kim said of Hsiao. “She is very resolute.”

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(Reporting by Michael Martina and David Bronstrom) Additional reporting by Eduardo Baptista in Beijing. Editing by Mary Milliken and Jerry Doyle

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