U.S. delegation arrives in Taiwan amid China tensions

U.S. delegation arrives in Taiwan amid China tensions

A congressional delegation led by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. On Sunday, Taiwan arrived in Taiwan, less than two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Beijing-claimed island drew a furious response from China.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. Rep. Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-American Samoa, the American Institute in Taiwan said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said that they will meet senior Taiwanese leaders to discuss security, trade, supply chains, and other issues.

After a Taiwanese broadcaster showed video of a U.S. government plane landing, it was about 7 p.m. local time 7 a.m. The group, which was welcomed by Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui, was at Songshan Airport in Taiwan's capital Taipei.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the delegation would meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday morning before leaving the island later that day. They will also visit the Foreign Minister Joseph Wu banquet and the Legislative's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

At a time when China continues to raise regional tensions, the U.S. Congress is once again organizing a heavyweight delegation to Taiwan to show its unaunted friendship and demonstrate strong U.S. support for the island, the ministry said in a statement.

After Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month, China denounced her trip as a serious violation. Beijing views Taiwan as an illegitimate breakaway province, a sacred and inalienable part of China's territory. When the Communist war ended in 1949 in China between the communists and nationalists ended with the former triumphant, the latter set up a rival government in Taipei.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has only recognized Beijing, but has since become Taiwan's main arms supplier and international backer.

China is yet to comment on the current visit, but after Pelosi's trip. On August 4, Beijing launched the largest series of military exercises around the self-governing island.

Live fire-drills by the China People's Liberation Army effectively encircled Taiwan's main island, which is about 100 miles off the coast of Mainland China.

The same day it launched 11 ballistic missiles to the north, south and east of Taiwan. Multiple Chinese planes have been breaching the unofficial median line down the Taiwan Strait on a daily basis after the end of the military exercises on Wednesday. On Sunday 11 planes crossed the median line, Taiwan s Defense ministry said in a statement.

China said Pelosi's visit violated the One-China policy, which is Beijing's claim to be the sole government of mainland China and Taiwan and accused the United States of trying to change the status quo by strengthening unofficial relations with Taiwan.

China has no choice but to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ma Zhaoxu, Vice Foreign Minister, told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday.

In an interview with NBC's TODAY show, Pelosi said, We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan. She said they're not going to say who can go to Taiwan.