A group of five members of Congress arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, less than two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered China with her own visit.
The unannounced delegation was led by Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and the lawmakers will meet with several Taiwanese officials.
Other members visiting Taiwan are Democratic Reps. John Garamendi of California, Alan Lowenthal of California, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Republican Rep. Amata Radewagen of American Samoa.
The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared photos on Twitter of Vice Minister Yui greeting the delegation at Taoyuan International Airport.
“Vice Minister Yui extended the warmest of welcomes to #Taiwan’s longstanding friend @SenMarkey & his cross-party delegation,” the post said.
The ministry reported that the delegation will meet President Tsai Ing-wen and attend a banquet hosted by the foreign minister, Joseph Wu, during their visit.
In a statement, the ministry said “As China is continuing to escalate tensions in the region, the US Congress has again organised a heavyweight delegation to visit Taiwan, showing a friendship that is not afraid of China’s threats and intimidation, and highlighting the US’s strong support towards Taiwan.”
China has long viewed Taiwan as its own territory and was enraged by Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month. She was the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades.
In the week after her visit, China held extensive military drills using warships, missiles and jets around Taiwan.
China argued that the visit violated the U.S. “One China” policy, which says the U.S. acknowledges the People’s Republic of China as the one and only government of China, reported Fox News.
Chinese warplanes have continued crossing the midpoint of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported that 22 Chinese military aircraft and six naval ships have been detected in the area Sunday.