Why is Taiwan now so important to US politicians?

by | Aug 26, 2022 | World

Another senior US politician is visiting Taiwan as Chinese military drills around the independent island have just wound down.Described as rehearsals for a potential invasion of the island, the unprecedented Chinese live-fire exercises were sparked by the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August.
The visit by Pelosi – the highest ranking US official to travel to Taiwan in 25 years – led to a major crisis between China and the United States.
Twelve days after Pelosi’s trip, a delegation led by US Senator Ed Markey landed on the island.
On Thursday, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican senator who sits on the Senate’s commerce and armed services committees, touched down in Taipei.
“I just landed in Taiwan to send a message to Beijing – we will not be bullied,” Blackburn tweeted.
So, why are so many US politicians visiting Taiwan now?
US-China rivalry
The US views China as its main strategic rival and high-level engagement between Washington and Beijing is important to keep the difficult relationship stable.
But the US has also in the past decade placed greater emphasis on its support for Taiwan as a response to what Washington perceives as China’s increasingly assertive actions in the East Asia region.
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In 2021, the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom announced a new trilateral security alliance – dubbed AUKUS – in an apparent attempt to counter China’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
China cla …

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