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Taiwan ambassador to US, China bullying sparks foreign interest in Taiwan visit

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Washington — China's U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's aggressive military response to Taiwan's visit has raised congressional interest in other countries in a similar visit, the island's de facto ambassador to the United States said Wednesday.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, conducted its largest-ever military exercises around the autonomous island after Pelosi's visit earlier this month, and this week further her five U.S. lawmakers continued.

The White House said China had "overreacted" to Pelosi's visit, using it as a pretext to launch missiles over Taiwan and conduct blockade exercises. around the island, which he used as an excuse to try to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

"What China is doing is attracting more interest than ever to visit Taiwan," Xiao Bikim, Taiwan's representative in Washington, said in an interview with Reuters. .

"Since my visit, I have seen other parliaments show interest," she said, noting Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom among potential delegation countries. , cited Japan.

"Victims of bullying need friends," Xiao said. She said of China's military actions, "Their actions have brought a lot of attention and sympathy to our situation.

A delegation of 10 Canadian parliamentarians Canadian parliamentary Liberal MP Judy Suguro said early Wednesday that she plans to visit Taiwan in May.

When asked if Taiwan would welcome a visit by the Republican chairman if Republicans took control of the House after the US midterm elections, Xiao said: Any member of any party.”

China has never renounced its use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and visits to Taiwan by officials from other countries are He sees it as sending an encouraging signal to independence supporters. Taiwan rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims, saying only its people can decide its future.

Pelosi said her visit was a signal that China could not stop world leaders from traveling to the island.

Although the United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is obligated under U.S. law to provide Taiwan with means of self-defense, yet has long angered China.

"This is a move to change the status quo. This is a move that creates tension," China's Ambassador to Washington Qin Gang told reporters on Tuesday about future US arms sales to Taiwan. said when asked about

Taiwan has previously spoken about access issues with some weapons ordered from the United States, such as the Shoulder Fire Stinger anti-aircraft missile, especially given the supply chain bottlenecks created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan is closely coordinating defense priorities and delivery schedules with the United States, and is actively addressing defense industry supply chain issues, Xiao said. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)