China’s Foreign Ministry reacted Wednesday to a visit to Taiwan by a group of Senate and House Republicans and called on Washington to end official contacts with Taipei.
"The visit of the relevant members of the US Congress gravely violates the one-China principle," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing. "China firmly opposes this and has lodged solemn representation with the US side. We ask the US side to immediately stop all forms of official interactions with Taiwan."
According to The South China Morning Post, the 13-member congressional delegation that visited Taiwan aboard a military aircraft on Tuesday included four senators and two members of the House, all of them Republicans.
Not all of the lawmakers who made the trip were identified, but sources told the Post the delegation included Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-TX). While in Taiwan, the US delegation visited Taiwan’s Defense Ministry and met with Taiwanese President Tsai ing-Wen.
Republicans in Congress have been introducing legislation to increase military support for Taiwan. A bill introduced in the Senate last week, which Cornyn and Crapo co-sponsored, would give Taiwan $2 billion in military aid each year.
The Republican trip to Taiwan comes as tensions are soaring between the US and China over the island. For the first time since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, Taiwan is disclosing the extent of its military cooperation with the US.
The visit was not announced in advance, and who and how many visited were kept secret until now. The military aircraft that carried these people to Taiwan left, it is also unclear whether they left too. These lawmakers are just as sneaky as rats. This is hilarious. pic.twitter.com/JL9s7BpGPh— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 9, 2021
On Tuesday, a report from Taiwan’s Defense Ministry revealed over 600 troops have traveled to the island since 2019 for training purposes. The fact that small numbers of US troops have been deployed to Taiwan over the decades is not a secret, but the acknowledgment from Taipei signals a shift in policy and is viewed as a provocation of Beijing.