US lawmakers visiting Taiwan for meetings with defense ministry: report

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Five House members are expected to go on a short trip to Taiwan Friday, where they will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and defense ministry officials, the country's official Central News Agency reported Thursday.

The group consists of House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Reps. Colin Allred (D-Texas), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).

Currently, the lawmakers are reportedly in East Asia on a Thanksgiving trip to Japan and South Korea, according to Reuters.

Their trip to Taiwan will mark the second visit for lawmakers this month amid growing tension between China and Taiwan.

China has ramped up military and political pressure to assert sovereignty over the country. However, Taiwan, a self-governing democracy, has said it is prepared to defend itself against aggression from the mainland.

The United States angered Beijing this week by inviting Taiwan to the first-ever "Summit for Democracy." Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China's defense ministry, said it is essential for the U.S. and China to have a good relationship but that there is "no room for compromise" regarding Taiwan.

"For a period of time, the U.S. side has said a lot of irresponsible things and done a lot of provocative things on Taiwan, the South China Sea, and close-up reconnaissance by warships and aircraft," Wu said.

While the U.S. has no official ties to Taiwan, it has been Taipei's most important international backer.