Nov. 26 (UPI) — A delegation of five U.S. lawmakers visited Taiwan on a two-day trip to meet with the island’s leaders despite calls from the Chinese government to cancel the trip.
Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, led the group Friday.
The group also included Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas; Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif.; Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C.; and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.
The trip comes after a series of warnings China has issued to the United States over their involvement with Taiwan, which China considers a province of the communist country.
China on Wednesday called the Biden administration’s invitation to Taiwan for its Summit for Democracy next month “a mistake.”
The members of Congress arrived in Taipei Thursday evening, and met with senior Taiwanese officials on issues including U.S.-Taiwan relations and regional security on Friday.
“A pleasure to welcome our U.S. friends to Taiwan,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter. “I thank the representatives for their support, and look forward to productive discussions on how to further strengthen bilateral ties.”
China responded dismissively at the visit, calling it a “clumsy show” put on by U.S. officials and Taiwan that would be “overwhelmed by China’s reunification process.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijuan said “all erroneous acts that run counter to the trend of China’s reunification are like [an] ant trying to topple a giant tree and will end up in failure,” according to the state-run Global Times.
Mace and Slotkin said the Chinese embassy reached out to their offices in an attempt to get the trip canceled.