China announced its plans for more military exercises surrounding Taiwan as its president met with members of a new United States (U.S.) congressional delegation on Monday.
Taiwanese media broadcast the delegation’s arrival for the negotiations led by Senator Ed Markey, but no information about the meeting was immediately made public.
A U.S. government plane was scheduled to take the delegation off later on Monday.
The visit from the new U.S. congressional delegation on Sunday evening came less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
Pelosi’s visit prompted days of threatening exercises by China, including the firing of missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait.
The U.S. House Speaker was the highest-level member of the U.S. government to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
In response to China’s stepped-up exercises, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) released a statement on Tuesday, reiterating that hosting foreign congressmen is “completely normal for regular exchanges between democratic countries,” and asserting that it is “absurd and savage” for China to use this as a pretext to launch risky military provocations.
MOFA stressed that China’s actions are “unjustifiable and irresponsible,” will only further erode regional stability, and “interfere with important shipping routes and commercial activities in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry strongly condemned China’s military provocation and “continuous creation of crises.”
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