Washington, Two American lawmakers expressed opposing views Wednesday on the issue of whether high level government officials such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should visit Taiwan.
Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida said he will continue to promote the idea of visits to Taiwan by high-ranking United States officials, while Democratic Representative Rick Larsen said that would be a "bad idea" as it would be inconsistent with the U.S.' long-standing one-China policy.
Yoho and Larsen, both members of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, made the comments at a seminar held by U.S. think tank National Bureau of Asian Studies.
In response to a question by a reporter, Yoho said he proposed to the administration of President Donals Trump the idea of Pence and Pompeo visiting Taiwan but had not yet received a response.
On the question of whether he thinks such an invitation is feasible, Yoho said, "Yes I do, because this is something if we ignore it, Taiwan will be consumed by China. And I think it was a bad policy done by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon in the 70s. Prior to that, Taiwan was recognized as a country."
"We are supportive of President Tsai coming here," Yoho added.
Larsen, however, argued that inviting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to address the U.S. Congress or having high-level American officials visit Taiwan would be a "bad idea," as the U.S. follows a one-China policy.
The idea of inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to address Congress, which was raised in the past, would also be a bad one, given the current situation, Larsen said.
A group of U.S. senators on Feb. 7 wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to invite Tsai to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. The letter was signed by Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz.
Commenting on the letter, Tsai told CNN in a recent interview that her decision on whether to accept such an invitation would depend on if her speech would be in the interests of Taiwan, would benefit Taiwan-U.S. relations, and serve peace and stability in the region.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel