US lawmakers visit Taiwan, plan to meet with top leaders

US lawmakers visit Taiwan, plan to meet with top leaders

Taipei — Five US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan Friday for a surprise one-day visit, according to the American Institute in Taiwan, a de facto embassy.

Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan Thursday evening and will meet with top leaders on the island. No further details were provided about the itinerary.

The visit comes at a time when tensions between Taiwan and China have risen to their highest level in decades. Taiwan has been self-governing since the two sides split during a civil war in 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.

“Just landed in the Republic of Taiwan,” Republican Representative Nancy Mays of South Carolina wrote on Twitter Thursday evening, using the island’s unofficial name.

Cast: Mark Takano, D-California, Elisa Slotkin, D-Mitch, Colin Allred, D-Texas, Sarah Jacobs, D-California. The Mace are part of the visiting delegation.

The trip comes just weeks after a group of six Republican lawmakers visited the island. The congressional delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen, Secretary General of National Security Wellington Koe, and Secretary of State Joseph Wu, among others.

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It is the third visit of US lawmakers this year. In June, three members of Congress traveled to Taiwan to donate much-needed vaccines at a time when the island was struggling to get enough.

The Biden administration also invited Taiwan to a summit for democracy next month, a move that drew sharp rebuke from China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday: “What the United States has done proves that the so-called democracy is only a pretext and a tool for it to achieve its geopolitical goals, oppress other countries, divide the world, serve its own interests and maintain hegemony in the world.”

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