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U.S. lawmakers come to Taiwan on military-focused trip – Reuters report

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A protester hoists the flags of Taiwan and the United States after his visit to Latin America in support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Burlingam (California, USA) on January 14, 2017. REUTERS / Stephen Lam

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to arrive in Taiwan on Friday for a brief trip based on meetings with the island’s Defense Ministry, the official Central News Agency of Taiwan reported on Thursday.

Travel China exacerbated military and political pressure to assert sovereignty over the island, sparking outrage in Taipei, where the government has vowed to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.

The report says the delegation will be made up of Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Colin Allred, Elissa Slotkin, Sara Jacobs and Nancy Mace, and will also be joined by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense declined to comment. The de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Five lawmakers are in East Asia on a trip to Japan to thank Japan and South Korea.

This would be the second trip that lawmakers will make to Taiwan this month.

Chinese military ready to fight patrol the Taiwan Strait Earlier in the month, his Defense Ministry said a delegation from the U.S. Congress had rejected a visit to Taiwan after arriving on a military plane.

The United States, like most countries, has no official ties to Taiwan, but it is the island’s most democratically governed international sponsor and major arms supplier, much to Beijing’s chagrin.

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