Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) has sent a second letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the State Department to extend a formal invitation to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to a U.S.-hosted summit in November.
“Denying the inclusion of Taiwanese leadership in APEC will only further embolden the CCP and be remembered as an immense failure of the Biden administration’s mission to uphold peace and stability in the region,” the letter says.
Claiming Taiwan to be a part of its territory, China has opposed the idea of allowing the island’s presidents to participate in the APEC summit. As a result, Taiwan has been represented by a representative or envoy appointed by the president at the annual event. Last year, Ms. Tsai appointed Morris Chang, founder of Taiwan-based chipmaker TSMC, as her representative to the APEC summit, which was hosted by Thailand.
The Republican lawmakers urged Mr. Blinken to set a new example for other APEC members given that the United States is the host nation this year. Peru will host the annual summit next year.
“We encourage you to set a new precedent for APEC’s members by using our platform as the 2023 host nation to invite Taiwan to fully participate in the November summit,” the letter says.
‘Hypocritical to the Rest of the World’Mr. Gooden sent a first letter to Mr. Blinken on the issue in April. According to the most recent letter, the secretary of state did not “adequately” respond to the initial letter.
“Unfortunately, your agency’s response failed to adequately address our request or provide a plan of action to officially extend an invitation to President Tsai Ing-wen. Since this year’s summit is quickly approaching, we would like to reiterate Taiwan is a full APEC member in good standing and deserves fair and equal treatment on par with other APEC member states,” the letter says.
“Withholding an invitation to President Tsai Ing-wen for the APEC leaders’ summit shortly after making major economic and trade commitments would undo years of bilateral progress with Taiwan and portray our government as hypocritical to the rest of the world,” the letter says.
‘Vocal Ally of Taiwan’The GOP lawmakers reminded Mr. Blinken that their request to invite Ms. Tsai came amid China’s persistent aggressive behaviors against the island.
“This request comes as the Chinese Communist Party steadily increases its hostility and unwarranted measures against Taiwan and other players in the region,” the letter says.
The CCP is also targeting Taiwan with disinformation campaigns and economic coercion, in order to sway public opinion as it continues its attempts to persuade the island’s population to accept its rule.
“The United States must remain a vocal ally of Taiwan while continuing to bolster bilateral trade relations and strengthening our economic partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region,” the letter adds.
The co-signees of the letter include Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), chairman of the House Ethics Committee, and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The House Republicans asked Mr. Blinken to respond to their letter and plan of action before Oct. 19.