UK parliamentary committee visits Taiwan

The Taiwanese flag (Reuters filepix by Ann Wang)

The Taiwanese flag (Reuters filepix by Ann Wang)

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LONDON (Nov 29): A British parliamentary committee is visiting Taiwan this week to meet President Tsai Ing-Wen and other senior officials, the Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement on Tuesday.

The visit is part of the committee’s work examining a shift in British foreign policy towards the Indo-Pacific region, which the government has identified as an economic and diplomatic priority since leaving the European Union.

“This visit to Taiwan has long been a priority for the Foreign Affairs Committee,” said chair of the committee, Alicia Kearns.

“The multiple challenges to security and prosperity across the globe make constructive ties between democracies, such as those enjoyed by the UK and Taiwan, all the more important.”

The committee is a parliamentary body, separate from government and made up of elected lawmakers from a range of parties. It scrutinises government policy but does not have statutory powers.

The committee will hold a press conference on Dec 2.

Earlier this year, a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered China, which claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

Britain and China are engaged in a number of simultaneous diplomatic spats, including over Taiwan.