TAIPEI (Reuters) – A delegation of U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday on a previously undisclosed trip. The last group of the country’s top officials to visit the island and defy Beijing reacted angrily to such exchanges.
The US embassy in Taiwan said the eight lawmakers, led by Florida Democrat Stephanie Murphy, will stay until Friday on a major tour of the Indo-Pacific region.
“The delegation will discuss with Taiwan’s top leaders U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains and other important common issues,” he added.
Taiwan’s presidential office said he would meet with President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday morning.
“This is the sixth visit by a US delegation since China’s military drills in early August, demonstrating the high importance and support that the US attaches to Taiwan, from local governments to the federal government, from the executive branch to the congressional branch.” he said in a statement.
China views the democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own state, defying strong opposition from the government in Taipei.
China held war games near Taiwan last month following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, and has since continued military operations around the island.
Other US lawmakers have come after Pelosi’s trip, as well as the governor of the US state of Arizona.
Taiwan’s top representative in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, said during Pelosi’s visit that Beijing’s attack had sparked interest in parliaments around the world to send to the island.
Separately on Wednesday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san told a Washington forum that Beijing cannot use cross-border peace and regional stability as a bargaining chip.
“We hope that all countries will cooperate strongly in urging China to exercise reasonable restraint and adjust its policies,” Chiu said in a video speech to the new US Center for Security Affairs. We must prevent the normalization of improper and illegal coercion through negligence or acquiescence.