A delegation of U.S. lawmakers landed in Taiwan early Sunday morning, flying in 12 days after a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that riled Beijing.
Plans for the two-day visit reportedly include a meeting in the capital Taipei with President Tsai Ing-wen.
Reuters reports the de facto local U.S. embassy confirmed the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). Accompanying him are four other lawmakers on what it described as a larger diplomatic sweep through the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan’s presidential office said the group would meet Tsai on Monday morning in a very public show of support coming so soon after Pelosi’s own brief tour.
Foreign Office officials tweeted “the warmest of welcomes” to their guests:
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
“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,” it said in a later statement.
Earlier a Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a U.S. government plane landing about 7 p.m. Sunday at Songshan Airport in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital, AP reports.
UPDATE – USAF #SPAR 11 has landed. Democratic Senator @EdMarkey leads a US congressional delegation (@RepLowenthal, @DonBeyerVA, and @RepAmata) to #Taiwan.pic.twitter.com/EX9OE8V90i
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 14, 2022
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 from California and Don Beyer from Virginia, according to the report.
As Breitbart News reported, Communist China has long claimed democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as its territory.
It responded to Pelosi’s visit earlier this month by sending missiles, warships and jet fighters around Taiwan for several days afterward. Those intrusions have only recently started to wind down although some commercial air travel in the region is still to be resolved.
The Chinese government objects to Taiwan having official contact with any and all foreign governments, particularly representatives that have a high proximity to power like Pelosi.