More US lawmakers visit Taiwan 12 days after Nancy Pelosi trip | News

A five-member delegation will meet senior leaders to debate US-Taiwan relations, regional safety, and commerce following US Home Speaker Pelosi’s go to and amid rising tensions with China.

A US delegation of lawmakers has arrived in Taiwan for a two-day go to throughout which they are going to meet President Tsai Ing-wen – the second high-level group to return amid continued military tensions with the island’s big neighbour, China.

Beijing, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its personal territory, has held main army manoeuvres across the island to specific its anger at this month’s go to to Taipei by United States Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei on Sunday stated the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who’s accompanied by 4 different lawmakers on what it described as half of a bigger go to to the Asia-Pacific area.

“The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to debate US-Taiwan relations, regional safety, commerce and funding, international provide chains, local weather change, and different important problems with mutual curiosity,” stated the American Institute in Taiwan, which represents the US authorities on the island as a result of they don’t have official relations.

Taiwan’s presidential workplace stated the group would meet Tsai on Monday morning.

“Particularly at a time when China is elevating tensions within the Taiwan Strait and the area with army workouts, Markey main a delegation to go to Taiwan as soon as once more demonstrates the USA Congress’ agency assist for Taiwan,” it stated in a press release.

China views Taiwan as its own territory.

This handout picture taken and released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on August 14, 2022 shows US Senator Ed Markey (L) posing with Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui
US Senator Ed Markey, left, poses with Taiwanese Deputy International Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui after arriving in Taiwan on Sunday [Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AFP]

China patrols proceed

Beijing has closely criticised the trip by Pelosi, who was the highest-ranking elected US official to go to Taiwan in a long time.

Taiwan has accused China of utilizing her go to as an excuse to kick-start army drills that may enable it to rehearse for an invasion.

It held its personal workouts simulating a defence in opposition to a Chinese language invasion of its predominant island. China drew down its drills however stated it will proceed to patrol the Taiwan Strait.

In its day by day replace, Taiwan’s defence ministry stated on Sunday that it detected 22 Chinese language planes and 6 ships working across the Taiwan Strait.

Of these, 11 planes crossed the median line, an unofficial demarcation between Taiwan and China that Beijing doesn’t recognise.

China final week vowed zero tolerance for “separatist actions” in Taiwan and reaffirmed its menace that it will take management of the self-ruled island by pressure if provoked.

“We’re able to create huge house for peaceable reunification, however we’ll go away no room for separatist actions in any type,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Workplace stated in a white paper.

China will “not surrender the usage of pressure and we reserve the choice of taking all obligatory measures”.

It added, nonetheless: “We’ll solely be pressured to take drastic measures to answer the provocation of separatist components or exterior forces ought to they ever cross our pink traces.”

China restricts trade with Taiwan amid tensions over Pelosi trip | Business and Economy

China’s Commerce Ministry declares commerce measures after warning of “severe penalties” over go to.

China has restricted its commerce with Taiwan amid elevated tensions over United States Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to the democratically-ruled island.

China’s Commerce Ministry mentioned in a discover on Wednesday it had halted exports of sand, a key materials utilized in development, and suspended imports of Taiwanese citrus fruit and a few sorts of fish.

The announcement comes as Pelosi conducts a high-profile go to to Taiwan regardless of Beijing warning of “severe penalties” ought to the veteran Democratic politician make the journey.

The commerce measures observe a discover by China’s customs company on Monday that it had blacklisted greater than 100 Taiwanese meals manufacturers for failing to resume their export registration.

Wu Shou-Mei, director-general of Taiwan’s Meals and Drug Administration, mentioned the strikes in a single day could also be politically motivated as Taiwanese producers have been being handled otherwise than these from elsewhere, the Taipei Instances reported.

China final yr banned imports of Taiwanese pineapples citing “biosafety” issues, in a transfer extensively seen as an try to put strain on Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who has sought to spice up Taiwan’s relationships and standing abroad.

China has been repeatedly accused of utilizing commerce as a weapon in recent times, with Australia and Lithuania seeing their exports hit with tariffs and different restrictions after turning into embroiled in disputes with Beijing.

Alicia García-Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist at Natixis in Hong Kong, mentioned suspending fruit and fish imports would have a negligible impression on Taiwan’s economic system, however halting sand exports might have a big impression as development has grow to be an necessary supply of financial progress in the course of the pandemic.

“There have been shortages of sand and gravel for a while in Taiwan,”  García-Herrero advised Al Jazeera.

“I’d not say it’s a key export from China however it does damage Taiwan.”

Henry Gao, an professional in Chinese language commerce at Singapore Administration College, mentioned whereas that sand is a vital useful resource for Taiwan, with makes use of within the tech and army spheres in addition to development, the island ought to be capable to simply supply it from elsewhere.

“I believe it’s doubtless that China will announce different financial sanctions, however it’s unlikely to be efficient except China bans its largest import from Taiwan – semiconductors,” Gao mentioned. “Nevertheless, that may damage China itself, too, as so many Chinese language companies depend on the semiconductors.”

Pelosi, the third-highest rating official within the US authorities, touched down in Taipei on Tuesday night time as a part of a five-leg Asia tour that features Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

In an op-ed printed within the Washington Submit minutes after her arrival, Pelso mentioned the US couldn’t stand by as Beijing “proceeds to threaten Taiwan – and democracy itself”.

China’s international ministry has slammed the go to as “extraordinarily harmful” and accused the US facet of “enjoying with fireplace”.

China’s Communist Get together considers self-ruled Taiwan a renegade province that should be “reunified” with the mainland, by drive if mandatory, though the get together has by no means had management of the island.

The Biden administration has mentioned it doesn’t help independence for Taiwan, which is recognised by simply 13 nations and the Vatican, or altering the established order, however that Pelosi has the correct to go to the island.

Five takeaways from President Biden’s first trip to Middle East | Joe Biden News

Washington, DC – America “is not going to stroll away” from the Center East, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed to allies throughout his journey to the area final week.

The journey to Israel and Saudi Arabia got here at a time of worldwide and domestic crises for the US president, who had promised to strengthen “promising tendencies” in a “much less pressurized” Center East.

“America goes to stay an energetic, engaged associate within the Center East,” Biden informed Arab leaders throughout a summit within the Saudi metropolis of Jeddah on Saturday.

All through the four-day journey, Biden reaffirmed previous commitments to allies and pushed for the acceleration of shifts already in movement, together with Israeli-Arab normalisation.

Listed below are 5 key takeaways from Biden’s first go to to the Center East as president.

Biden places on pro-Israel show

From the second he landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Biden made a collection of pronouncements reaffirming Washington’s dedication to Israel’s safety and his personal affinity for the nation.

Biden urged that he identifies as a Zionist, echoing earlier feedback he has made over time. “I did say and I say once more, you needn’t be a Jew to be a Zionist,” he said.

He added that the US-Israeli connection is “bone deep”.

As he heaped reward on Israel, Biden didn’t overtly press for concessions regarding Palestinians in engagements with Israeli officers. In response to public statements, there have been no criticisms of settlements, no requires permitting Washington to open a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, and no pushes for accountability for the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

As he headed to occupied East Jerusalem and the West Financial institution, Biden struck a extra balanced tone with out explicitly criticising Israel. Final Friday, he appeared to liken the plight of Palestinians to that of Irish individuals who struggled beneath British colonialism.

“My background and the background of my household is Irish American, and now we have a protracted historical past not basically not like the Palestinian folks with Nice Britain,” he informed a Palestinian viewers in East Jerusalem.

In the course of the go to, Biden pledged $100m in further help to hospitals that serve Palestinians within the holy metropolis. And after a gathering with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he also said Washington would proceed to “insist on a full and clear accounting” of the killing of Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot by Israeli forces in Could.

However the US president didn’t decide to an impartial probe or meet with the slain journalist’s family – as Abu Akleh’s kinfolk had requested – throughout his go to.

US, Israel current united entrance towards Iran

Whereas US officers say they’re dedicated to reviving the Iran nuclear deal and Israel overtly opposes the settlement, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid displayed a united entrance towards Tehran final week.

The 2 leaders signed a joint declaration pledging to by no means permit Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, with Washington vowing to maintain the US dedication to Israel’s safety “bipartisan and sacrosanct”.

“America stresses that integral to this pledge is the dedication by no means to permit Iran to accumulate a nuclear weapon, and that it’s ready to make use of all components of its nationwide energy to make sure that final result,” the joint assertion, launched on July 14, reads. Tehran denies in search of nuclear arms.

Requested days earlier by Israel’s Channel 12 information whether or not he would use drive towards Iran to forestall it from buying a nuclear weapon, Biden said, “If that was the final resort, sure.”

The US president additionally dominated out eradicating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US record of “overseas terrorist organizations” even when it means killing the 2015 nuclear pact, which noticed Iran cut back its nuclear programme in alternate for the lifting of sanctions towards its economic system.

Biden later stated he continues to imagine that “diplomacy is one of the best ways” to make sure a nuclear weapons-free Iran.

Imad Harb, director of analysis and evaluation on the Arab Heart Washington DC, stated that whereas the US dedication on Iran will not be fully new, spelling it out in such a means at a time when the nuclear talks are stalling will increase the probabilities of confrontation with Tehran.

“You received’t permit Iran to have nuclear weapons. However but on the identical time, you haven’t been capable of attain an settlement with Iran on the nuclear file,” Harb stated of Biden.

“So what does that imply? Are we, the USA, tip-toeing right into a navy confrontation with Iran based mostly on Israeli perceptions of risk? Or is the USA actually really threatening as a result of it feels that Iran is arriving on the nuclear breakout or nuclear weapons?”

Push for normalisation turns incremental

Biden made it clear earlier than leaving on his trip that pushing for normalisation between Israel and Arab international locations – significantly Saudi Arabia – could be a high precedence.

Saudi officers had beforehand stated they’d not normalise with Israel absent of a viable Palestinian state. And so throughout his go to, Biden pushed for incremental normalising gestures between the 2 international locations that fall wanting absolutely establishing diplomatic relations.

When he was in Israel, Biden introduced that Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its airspace to all air carriers, together with Israeli planes, hailing the transfer as “historic”.

Washington additionally helped safe an settlement to switch two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi sovereignty, which required Israeli consent. Biden portrayed the pact as a significant achievement, describing it as a “historic deal to remodel a flashpoint on the coronary heart of the Center East wars into an space of peace”.

Whereas Biden was not in a position so as to add new international locations to the normalisation agreements, referred to as the “Abraham Accords” and brokered by his predecessor Donald Trump, he pushed on with US requires regional financial and safety integration that would come with Israel.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps U.S. President Joe Biden
Biden met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the primary time as US president [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Court via Reuters]

MBS fist bump stirs criticism, debate

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince was exterior the royal palace in Jeddah when Biden’s presidential limousine arrived.

Biden took a number of steps out of the automobile, clutching either side of his blazer – in an obvious effort to button it up – with one hand. Because the crown prince approached, Biden prolonged an arm with a clenched fist in the direction of him.

The 2 leaders bumped fists – not an unusual greeting within the age of COVID-19 – and exchanged smiles as they walked into the constructing.

The second ended the estrangement between the US president and de facto Saudi chief, whom the US intelligence group accuses of being behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia has stated that the killing of Khashoggi on the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018 was a rogue operation that occurred with out the approval or data of high officers, together with bin Salman (recognized by his initials, MBS). The dominion additionally says it tried and convicted these accountable for the homicide.

However Biden, who referred to as Saudi Arabia a “pariah” as a candidate, initially refused to interact instantly with MBS, with the White Home saying that the US president would conduct relations along with his counterpart, King Salman.

Now, the proverbial ice between Biden and MBS has been damaged.

The US president stated he brought up the killing of Khashoggi in a gathering with the crown prince and different Saudi officers, however rights teams have been fast to criticise the president over the encounter.

Fred Ryan – the writer of the Washington Publish newspaper, the place Khashoggi labored on the time of his loss of life – referred to as the fist bump “shameful”, and the Committee to Defend Journalists said it was “appalled” by Biden’s “failure” to carry the crown prince accountable.

Nonetheless, many mainstream commentators in Washington defended Biden, with some citing the essential points that the US and Saudi Arabia should deal with collectively – together with oil and Iran.

“Critics of [Biden] journey to KSA get 2 issues fallacious. First, you must take care of the leaders that exist, not ones you like. 2nd, what issues will not be ‘deliverables’ however constructing a relationship w Saudi leaders that can permit the two international locations to collaborate on Iran, Israel, oil, and so on,” Richard Haass, president of the Council on Overseas Relations, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Harb, of the Arab Heart, said Biden might have wished to keep away from a handshake with the crown prince, however there was no solution to escape the visuals of being with MBS on the go to.

“The problem is how would Mohammed bin Salman take it. It appears to be like like he’s taking it as an admission that the US president was fallacious, in addition to an American recognition of his management,” Harb informed Al Jazeera.

Discussions for extra oil, however nothing concrete

As a lot as Biden and his high aides pressured over the previous weeks that the journey to the Center East was not about oil, specialists have argued that the energy crisis is driving the president’s journey.

The journey didn’t end in an express settlement to spice up manufacturing from the dominion to tame oil costs that skyrocketed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However Biden appeared optimistic when addressing the problem.

“We had a great dialogue on making certain world vitality safety and sufficient oil provides to help world financial development, and that can start shortly,” Biden informed reporters after talks with Saudi officers, including that Riyadh shares “the urgency” about the necessity to deal with the vitality disaster.

In a joint assertion on Friday, Washington and Riyadh “reaffirmed their dedication to a steady world vitality market”. The White Home later stated the 2 international locations finalised a number of bilateral agreements, together with on vitality safety, with out offering particulars.

Oil costs had been step by step going down since earlier than Biden’s journey. The US president stated on Friday that it is going to be “one other couple weeks” earlier than the potential results of his go to to Saudi Arabia are seen by US gas shoppers on the pump.

Can Biden’s Saudi trip help ease record-high energy prices? | Oil and Gas

From: Counting the Cost

The US president pushed for a rise in oil output throughout his first journey to the Center East.

From Israel to the occupied West Financial institution and Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden’s first go to to the Center East comes at a crucial time for the US president, whose approval score is at lower than 40 p.c within the run-up to mid-term elections.

The Ukraine struggle has set off a world vitality disaster, and Biden desires the dominion to pump extra oil, to deliver down costs for People feeling the pinch on the pump.

Relations between the standard allies reached a historic low after the homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Biden goals to reset these ties.

Different points embrace safety and relations with Israel.