TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A delegation of U.S. lawmakers is visiting Taiwan just 12 days after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit angered China.
The five-member delegation, led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will meet with senior leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade, investment and other issues, the American Institute said from Taiwan. The institute represents the US government, which has no official ties to Taiwan.
China, which claims Taiwan as its self-governing territory, responded to Pelosi’s Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into Taiwan’s seas and skies for several days afterward. The Chinese government opposes Taiwan having any official contact with foreign governments, especially with a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi.
A Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a US government plane landing around 7pm on Sunday at Songshan Airport in the Taiwanese capital Taipei. While it was not confirmed who was on board, the American Institute issued a brief statement shortly after announcing that the delegation would be in Taiwan on Sunday and Monday as part of a trip to Asia.
The other members of the delegation are Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, and Democratic House members John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal of California and Don Beyer of Virginia.
Chinese warplanes have crossed the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis even after the conclusion of military exercises, and at least 10 did so on Sunday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.
The 10 fighter jets were among 22 Chinese military aircraft and six naval vessels spotted in the area around Taiwan at 5pm on Sunday, the ministry said on its Twitter account.