China staged fresh military drills around Taiwan on Monday, slamming a new visit by United States lawmakers to the island days after a similar trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi triggered a furious response from Beijing, IgbereTV reports
The unannounced two-day trip by senior members of Congress prompted China to renew its rhetoric that it would “prepare for war” over Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy that Beijing’s leaders claim and have vowed to one day seize.
The five-member congressional delegation — led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts — met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday, according to Washington’s de facto embassy in Taipei.
“The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan,” it said.
Tsai told the lawmakers she wants “to maintain a stable status quo across the Taiwan Strait” and “jointly maintain the prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific region”, her office said in a statement.
She said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrated “the threat that authoritarian states pose to the world order”, according to her office, and also thanked Washington for its support in the face of Chinese military threats.
The bipartisan trip sparked another bellicose response from Beijing, which said it had carried out a fresh round of “combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island” on Monday.