US lawmaker delegation, led by Democrat Stephanie Murphy, arrives in Taiwan

Ms Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, leads the delegation. PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI - A US lawmaker delegation arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday on a previously unannounced trip, the latest group of senior officials from the country to visit the island and defying Beijing which has reacted with anger to such trips.

This brings the number of congressional visitors this year to the highest in at least a decade as shows of support for the island’s leadership have grown.

The de facto US embassy in Taiwan said the eight lawmakers, led by Ms Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, would be staying until Friday as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

"The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, and other significant issues of mutual interest," it added.

Taiwan’s presidential office said they would meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday morning.

“This is the sixth visiting US delegation after China’s military exercises in early August, once again demonstrating the high importance and support that the United States attaches to Taiwan, from local governments to the federal government, from the executive branch to the congressional branch,” it said in a statement.

China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, dismissing the strong objections of the government in Taipei.

China carried out war games last month near Taiwan following a trip to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and has continued its military activities around the island since then.

Other US lawmakers have since come after Mrs Pelosi's trip, as well as the governor of the US state of Arizona. REUTERS

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