TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A delegation from the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee will depart for the U.S. on Sunday (June 26) to exchange views with relevant American officials on defense policy, examine the facilitation of overseas Taiwanese affairs, and participate in Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of North America activities.
The trip is a part of the Legislative Yuan’s parliamentary diplomacy efforts, and the group will make stopovers in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, and Los Angeles, CNA reported.
Delegation members include Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Jonny Chiang (江啟臣), KMT Legislator Wu Si-huai (吳斯懷), and independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐), who is already in the U.S. Some other legislators on the committee have said they will decide whether to join the delegation in the final days before the trip.
Additionally, KMT Legislators Lee De-wei (李德維), Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷), and Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭), have joined the delegation to help set the parliamentary diplomacy in motion, even though they are not part of the Foreign and National Defense Committee. Lee said that he feels the trip is very meaningful, so he is willing to participate at his own expense.
Chiang, who will lead the delegation, said that it is very appropriate for the legislators to visit during the Legislative Yuan recess, especially since they represent the voice of the government and the people.
When asked about the group’s itinerary, Chiang said that some items are still being added or adjusted. Many of Taiwan’s friends, including overseas Taiwanese, are looking forward to the discussions and exchanges with the delegation. In addition, Chiang said the group would stop by the Twin Oaks Estate.
China's Taiwan Affairs Office on Tuesday (June 21) criticized Taiwan’s parliamentary diplomacy, claiming its purpose was to woo external forces to support Taiwan independence. “The countries involved should abide by the one-China principle,” Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesperson for the TAO, said earlier on Tuesday.
The Mainland Affairs Council responded later that day by saying it is normal for Taiwan's president and legislators to conduct parliamentary diplomacy and mutual exchanges with other democratic countries. Beijing has no right to interfere or interject in Taiwan's diplomatic affairs, it added.