US lawmaker: China 'not interested in taking Taiwan by peaceful means'

A senior US lawmaker has criticized China for carrying out military exercises around Taiwan soon after Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te took office. He said China is not interested in peaceful means.

A group of US bipartisan lawmakers, led by Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday. He met with Lai on Monday.

In the meeting, Lai called the lawmakers heavyweights. He said he will press ahead with military reforms to enhance defense capabilities and show the world the Taiwanese people's resolve to defend their homeland. He also said he hopes the US Congress will continue to help Taiwan strengthen its self-defense capabilities.

McCaul said China conducted "intimidating" military exercises just three days after Lai's inauguration, demonstrating it is "not interested in taking Taiwan by peaceful means."

He also said the US is and will be a reliable partner of Taiwan, and that no coercion or intimidation will slow down or stop the routine visits by Congress to Taiwan.