A delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday on a two-day visit that is likely to further escalate tensions with China.
A furious Beijing, which views Taiwan as a “breakaway province,” launched massive military drills around the self-ruled island after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei earlier this month.
The US delegation is led by Senator Ed Markey and includes four House lawmakers, according to the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US Embassy in Taipei.
Vice Minister Yui extended the warmest of welcomes to #Taiwan’s🇹🇼 longstanding friend @SenMarkey & his cross-party delegation comprising @RepGaramendi, @RepLowenthal, @RepDonBeyer & @RepAmata. We thank the like-minded #US🇺🇸 lawmakers for the timely visit & unwavering support. pic.twitter.com/XZKoKhnPZO
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) August 14, 2022
It said the visit is “part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.”
The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Discussions will focus on “US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” read a statement.
In a tweet, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked “the like-minded US lawmakers for the timely visit & unwavering support.”
China is yet to comment on the visit, which comes as its ties with Washington have frayed significantly since Pelosi defied repeated warnings to visit the Taipei on Aug. 2.
Apart from its show of military might around Taiwan, Beijing sanctioned Pelosi, downgraded military dialogue with the US and suspended cooperation on climate change issues, along with six other countermeasures.
Earlier this week, Beijing also sanctioned Agne Vaiciukeviciute, Lithuania’s deputy minister of transport and communications, for her “egregious and provocative” recent trip to Taiwan.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk