Chinese state media outlets are decrying a visit by three U.S. senators to Taiwan, saying the move is provocative and challenges Beijing's control of the region.
The criticism came in two separate editorials by the Xinhua press agency and the China Daily newspaper on Monday after Sens. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (D-Ill.), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group Overnight Energy: Judge blocks permits for Alaska oil project MORE (R-Ark.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images MORE (D-Del.) visited Taiwan on Sunday, Newsweek noted.
"Once again challenging Beijing's red line over the Taiwan question,” Xinhua said. It added that the senators went to Taiwan to "stage an anti-China political farce and offer some symbolic support for the current Taiwan authorities that are overwhelmed by the raging pandemic situation in the island.”
"Such a treacherous move of Washington has nothing to do with fighting COVID-19 as it claimed, and will only increase tensions in the region," Xinhua said.
Chinese state media also took issue with the fact that the senators arrived in Taiwan on a U.S. Air Force transport plane.
"The Taiwan authorities and Washington are well aware that the use of a military aircraft would be provocative and cause a stir. But that seems to have been the intention," China Daily said, according to Newsweek.
The senators arrived on the island after the U.S. pledged to send 750,000 vaccine doses to Taiwan amid a surge of the coronavirus there. Taiwan is in desperate need of vaccine doses despite handling the pandemic well up until April, when an outbreak occurred on the island. Taiwan has not been accepting vaccine doses from China, as its law does not allow for imports of medicines made in China.
Taipei has also accused China, which claims sovereignty over the island, of hurting deals the country was trying to make with BioNTech to get Pfizer vaccine doses.
"There are some countries that question whether the United States will come to the aid of our friends in Taiwan. This is a moment we thought it was urgent and important for us ... to make it clear that we intend to do so,” Coons said during the visit.