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US congressmen warn of potential for 'Chinese mischief' amid unrest in Haiti

Two US lawmakers say conditions ripe for interference in Haiti following assassination of president, storming of Taiwanese embassy

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A police officer stands at an intersection in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, late Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Haiti is in the midst of a heightened security sit...

A police officer stands at an intersection in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, late Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Haiti is in the midst of a heightened security sit...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two U.S. congressmen have warned the Biden administration that China could choose to capitalize on the unrest in Taiwan's diplomatic ally following the recent assassination of Hait's president and occupation of Taiwan's embassy by some of the assailants.

On July 14, representatives Scott Perry (R-PA) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning of "ripple effects" of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on the stability of Haiti and the possibility the situation could open the door to political interference by China. They pointed out that much is still not known of the masterminds and the motives of the assassination, but what is certain is that 11 of the suspects stormed into Taiwan's embassy.

The congressmen expressed concern over the potential for "Chinese mischief in Haiti" in the current climate. They also expressed fears that China could exploit the chaotic situation in Haiti to "gain a greater foothold in the Caribbean."

They pointed out that Beijing has a recent track record of seeking opportunities to convince Taiwan's allies to switch diplomatic ties to China to flex their political and economic muscles in the developing world. The congressmen cited how Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic, along with El Salvador and Burkina Faso, had "caved to Beijing and abandoned their ties with Taiwan" in 2018, followed by Kiribati and the Solomon Islands in 2019.

Perry and Tiffany urged Blinken to relay to Haiti and other nations in the region the importance of "resisting Chinese overtures" and maintaining ties with Taiwan. They predicted that the Chinese Communist Party will attempt to take advantage of the turmoil in Haiti to "further marginalize U.S. and Taiwanese interests."