Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China sees the delegation’s visit as a “serious violation” of US commitments not to have formal relations with Taiwan, which China claims to be its territory. .
“China strongly opposes it and has made solemn representations to the United States,” Wang said in a daily briefing on Wednesday.
“All risky and provocative actions against the reunification of China are like an ant trying to knock down a giant tree and are doomed to failure.”
A statement from the Chinese Defense Ministry by an unidentified spokesperson strongly condemned the visit, saying “no one should underestimate the People’s Liberation Army’s steadfast determination to protect national sovereignty and integrity territoriality of the Chinese people “.
China regards Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by military force if necessary. The parties separated in 1949 in a civil war, and after a brief period of reconciliation, relations grew increasingly strained under pro-independence Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said congressional visits to Taiwan “are relatively routine and in line with the United States’ obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act,” which requires the government America to ensure that Taiwan has the capacity to defend itself and considers threats to the island as issues of “serious concern”.
The delegation arrived in Taipei on Tuesday evening aboard a C-40 Clipper plane, which left shortly after, according to the Taiwanese state news agency. Mr Kirby said traveling on a US military aircraft was customary for such delegations.
Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the ministry had worked with the American Institute in Taiwan, which is the de facto U.S. Embassy, ââon the arrangements for the visit, but no ‘gave no details. She said more information would be released at the “appropriate time”.
Why the South China Sea dispute matters
Although the United States transferred diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, it maintains strong informal political and military ties with Taiwan. As a vibrant democracy, Taiwan also enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress, and the U.S. government has strengthened relations through high-level visits and military sales.