U.S. Lawmakers Arrive In Taiwan

US lawmakers vowed to bolster Taiwan’s deterrence against China on Monday during a bipartisan congressional visit to the self-governing democracy just days after Beijing surrounded the island with massive military exercises.

Last week’s drills were the largest China has launched in more than a year and came days after Taiwan swore in its new presidentLai Ching-te, who is openly loathed by Beijing for championing the island’s sovereignty and distinct identity.

In a news conference in Taipei, US Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the drills an “intimidation tactic to punish democracy” and vowed to bolster Taiwan’s defense by speeding up the delivery of defensive weapons from the US.

Citing recent foreign military financing for Taiwan approved by the US House, McCaul pledged to get Taiwan the weapons it purchased from the US “as soon as possible.”

“We are moving forward on those weapons systems. I’d like to see them faster, but they are forthcoming,” he said.

The US maintains close but informal relations with Taiwan and is bound by law to supply the island with weapons to defend itself. However, Taiwan has repeatedly raised concerns about delays in US weapon deliveries, particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Read more here from CNN.