Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who recently described China as the “New Axis of Evil” made an unannounced visit to Taiwan on Thursday, a source told Fox News.
Blackburn’s visit to the island came not long after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s early August visit to Taipei sparked outrage from the Chinese government.
Pelosi was the highest ranking member of Congress to visit the self-governed island since Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.
"We of course take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of members of Congress wherever and whenever they choose to travel," a Pentagon spokesperson told Fox News.
The Pentagon declined to further comment on Blackburn’s trip.
Reportedly Blackburn was not accompanied by other Congress members. She visited on her way back from a trip to Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, her office said on Thursday.
"The Indo-Pacific Region is the next frontier for the New Axis of Evil," Blackburn said in a statement. "Meeting with leaders from Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea was an important step in showcasing America’s commitment to the region and expanding our strategic relationships."
She added: "Continuing these long-established partnerships is important to the success of both East Asian nations and the United States. I am grateful for their leadership. We must stand against the Chinese Communist Party.”
In mid-August, five other members of Congress – Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Amata Radewagen (R-AS) – visited Taiwan.