Rep. Nancy Mace wants the United States to take a stronger stance in defending Taiwan in its conflict with China.

The freshman GOP representative from South Carolina was among a group of five House lawmakers who traveled to the Indo-Pacific region over the Thanksgiving holiday week. Prior to their arrival in Taiwan, however, the offices of each of the lawmakers received a warning from the Chinese Embassy, telling them to cancel the trip. They refused.


“Before we even got on the plane from Korea to Taiwan, the Chinese Embassy already got wind of the trip and sent us all, all five of us, a very terse and blunt and direct message demanding we cancel the trip and, of course, we did not,” Mace told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “Thank God, every member on that trip, myself included, we, No. 1, don't bend the knee to China and did not.”

Then, while there, the group met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, among other officials. The bipartisan group visited Taiwan about two weeks after a group of six Republicans — Sens. Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, and Tommy Tuberville and Reps. Tony Gonzales and Jake Ellzey — traveled to the island nation, and they, too, were warned preemptively by the embassy.

From her interactions on the island, Mace described the Taiwanese as “amazing people” and said, “They are doing everything that they need to do to protect their freedom and democracy,” when asked about her experiences there.

Once the lawmakers landed, Mace tweeted a photo of herself in front of the plane with the caption: “Just touched down in the Republic of Taiwan.”

"It was a subtle but strong nod to protecting the freedom and democracy of the Taiwanese people," she said of the tweet that she said was intentional. "And I will tell you, during one of our meetings while we were there that day, I had Taiwanese people coming up to me with tears in their eyes, thanking me for that tweet or recognizing that they have freedom and democracy that should be protected."

The U.S. and China relationship has heated up under the Biden administration, with Taiwan looming large as an issue. Taiwan receives American defense support but has not been recognized by the U.S. government since diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, the communist government on the mainland, were normalized.

Mace detailed a handful of takeaways from the journey and what she hopes are next steps for Congress and the administration, which included a change in U.S. policy.


"Well, I want to see everybody in the world take China to task, put them on blast, let them know this is not going to be tolerated. And it's going to take more than writing a memo and saying, China is bad. It's going to take some sort of economic pain," Mace explained. "I think the most important thing we can do with the threat of China is expressed to them in no uncertain terms that a war anywhere in the world with, you know, that would include the United States or any of our partners, friends or allies would be very expensive and unaffordable to them."

Mace’s wishes may become a reality sooner than she expected.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said that the U.S. “intend[s] to live up to our obligations, our rock solid obligations and commitments,” during a trip to Singapore earlier this week, according to Reuters, though the White House walked back President Joe Biden's October promise to defend Taiwan.