A United States lawmakers delegation arrived in Taiwan which sparked controversy and invited sharp criticism from China, with it calling the visit as an "act of provocation."

China's defense ministry stated on Nov. 9, Tuesday, it had carried out a combat readiness patrol close to the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese defense ministry also condemned the visit to Taiwan by the US congressional delegation which arrived on the island by a military aircraft.

The tensions have been rising between Taiwan and China in recent months, with multiple complaints of China’s invasion of Taiwan’s air space for over a year. On Tuesday, four J-16 aircraft and two surveillance planes from China invaded Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone, Reuters reported. This was criticized by the defense ministry of Taiwan.

On Tuesday, various media agencies reported that unidentified members of the Senate and House of Representatives arrived in Taipei via a military plane.

Su Tseng-chang, Taiwan Premier informed the reporters on Nov.10, Wednesday that the relationship between Taiwan and the US is very important for them. He also added that he respects the mutual visits between the two “friends”. Also, without going into the details, the Premier stated that the Taiwanese government will provide appropriate arrangements based on mutual needs.

The trip was organized by the American Institute in Taiwan. In the paucity of any formal diplomatic ties, the American Institute serves as the only US embassy in the country.

Mounting further pressure on Taiwan, China's defense ministry said they firmly oppose and strongly condemn this visit by the US Senators and Representatives of the House. They also criticized the subsequent warm welcome by the Taiwanese government.

Zhu Fenglian, the spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs, urged everyone not to believe any rumors about an imminent war. Immediately after the strong criticism from Beijing, there had been several rumors regarding the possibility of an impending armed conflict.

John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman also commented that it is a common fact for congressional delegates to use military aircraft, CNN reported. He also mentioned that it was also not unusual for them to visit Taiwan after an invitation and he also stated that it was their second trip to Taiwan this year.

China confirms the outbreak of SARS-like virus, as there has been a steep rise in the number of those who've contracted the virus. Pixabay

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