A US congressional delegation has arrived in Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) on an unannounced two-day visit amid high tensions between Beijing and Washington over a recent controversial visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-ruled island.
According to Press TV, the five-member delegation, led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, arrived in Taipei on Sunday.
The lawmakers will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday, according to the presidential office.
The office also said in a statement that the visit to the island “demonstrates the United States Congress’ firm support for Taiwan.”
Markey’s office also said in a statement that the lawmakers “will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan…and will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
Tensions have been on the rise in the region since Pelosi visited Taiwan despite stern warnings from Beijing that the trip would have a “severe impact” on bilateral ties with the United States and that her move “gravely undermines” regional peace and stability.
During her trip, Pelosi said the visit intended to make it “unequivocally clear” that the US would “not abandon” the democratically governed island.
Her visit infuriated China, which has sovereignty over the self-ruled Chinese Taipei and has publicly stated that it may take it by force one day, if necessary.
Under the “one China” policy, nearly all countries across the globe, the US included, recognize Beijing’s sovereignty over Chinese Taipei.
Washington, however, engaged in direct contact with the secessionist government in Taipei, in violation of its own stated policy. The US also supplies Taipei with massive amounts of armaments.