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A bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers touched down in Taiwan for an unannounced visit on Thursday.

The group is the latest batch of officials to flout China’s demands that the U.S. cut ties with the self-governed island. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., a major critic of China, led the delegation, which included four other members of Congress.

“The United States, Democrats and Republicans, stands with Taiwan, for your freedom and for ours,” Gallagher said at a press conference during the visit. “For as Taiwan goes, so goes the world.”

The group met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, who told them she hoped to see further interaction between U.S. and Taiwan officials.

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“The Taiwan of today plays a crucial role in upholding global peace and democracy,” she said. “We will continue to advance our international partnerships and engage with the world.”

The other members of the delegation are Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.; John Moolenaar, R-Mich.; Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.; and Seth Moulton, D-Mass.

All those on the trip are members of the House Committee on Competition with China, which Gallagher chairs. The lawmakers’ offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.

Mike Gallagher

China has long claimed ownership over Taiwan, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s regime has threatened to unite the island with the mainland by force.

Previous visits by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan were seen as validation of the island’s independence. China was outraged in August 2022 when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan. Tsai followed up the visit with a trip to the U.S. last year.

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The Chinese military responded to both incidents with weeks of live-fire drills surrounding Taiwan in an apparent simulation of an invasion.

Taiwan president during trip to US with Kevin McCarthy

Gallagher’s group also met with Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te. It was the first meeting between him and U.S. lawmakers since he won the island’s presidential election in January.

Lai will succeed Tsai in May.

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