Updated May 31, 2022 - World

Beijing sends 30 warplanes near Taiwan as U.S. delegation visits

 Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) speaks during a news conference following the weekly Democrat policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth leads a U.S. congressional delegation visiting Taiwan. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

A U.S. delegation led by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is in Taipei, meeting with Taiwan officials on a previously unannounced visit.

Driving the news: Duckworth, who also visited Taiwan's capital last year as part of a COVID-19 vaccine doses donation announcement, arrived in Taipei for the three-day visit on Monday, per a Taiwan Foreign Ministry tweet.

Of note: Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense reported Monday that Beijing sent 30 Chinese warplanes to its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) near the island — the biggest incursion since January.

What's happening: The U.S. delegation met with Taiwan Foreign Affairs Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu on Tuesday.

  • They're scheduled to hold talks with President Tsai Ing-wen later in the day as well as Premier Su Tseng-chang and Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua before their departure Wednesday, per CNN.

The big picture: The delegation's trip follows President Biden's first visit to Japan earlier this month during which he angered China's government by saying American troops would defend Taiwan if Chinese forces attacked the self-governing island.

  • Current U.S. policy acknowledges Beijing considers Taipei part of "one China," but opposes any attempts to change Taiwan's democratic status by force.

Flashback: The governments of China and Russia sent jets over the seas near Japan during Biden's visit and U.S. and Japanese forces held a joint fighter jet exercise soon after.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the Chinese warplanes and with further context.

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