TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Monday with a delegation of U.S. Congress members in a further sign of support among American lawmakers for the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory.
Taiwanese media showed the delegation arriving for the talks, but details of the meeting were not immediately released.
It comes less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which prompted days of threatening military exercises by China, including the firing of missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait.
China has also sent warplanes and navy ships across the waterway’s median, which has long been a buffer between the sides that separated amid civil war in 1949. China regards formal contacts between U.S. politicians and the island’s government as support for its independence from Beijing.
China says it wants to use peaceful means to bring Taiwan under its control, but its recent saber rattling has emphasized its military threat.
The five-member delegation is led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and is to meet with other government and private sector representatives. Reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and investments in Taiwan’s crucial semiconductor industry are expected to be key topics of discussion.
The other members of the delegation are Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, and Democrats John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California and Don Beyer from Virginia.