A US congressional delegation led by Rep. Ed Markey arrived in Taiwan on Sunday — less than two weeks after China staged a series of military drills in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.
The five lawmakers are expected to meet President Tsai Ing-wen during their two-day visit to the island amid heightened relations between Beijing and Washington over Pelosi’s visit and China’s aggressive posturing in the region.
China believes Taiwan, which is self-governed, is part of its sovereign territory and has suggested that it will reunify the island – by force if necessary.
Markey (D-Mass.) and the congressional contingent will also meet senior Taiwanese leaders to discuss regional security, trade, investment and relations between Taipei and Washington.
“Especially at a time when China is raising tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the region with military exercises, Markey leading a delegation to visit Taiwan once again demonstrates the United States Congress’ firm support for Taiwan,” Taiwan’s presidential office said in a statement.
Media in Taiwan showed a US plane landing around 7 p.m. local time at Songshan Airport in Taipei.
China extended military drills and sanctioned Pelosi and her immediate family for the California Democrat’s 19-hour stay in Taiwan earlier this month.
She became the first highest-ranking elected official to visit the island since then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich 25 years ago.
With Post wires