A member of the second U.S. congressional delegation to visit Taiwan this month said Friday that the self-ruled island is “on the rise,” as Beijing demanded the group “call off” their trip.

“I’m midway through my visit to Taiwan & this much is clear: this place is on the rise,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan and a former U.S. intelligence official said on Twitter.

“The fortitude & determination of the people, led by their dynamic (frankly, kick-ass) President, is downright inspiring — and I don’t inspire easily. Democratic values still & always matter,” she added.

Slotkin and four other members of the U.S. House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan for a brief visit on Thursday at a time when Beijing has ramped up political and military pressure on the democratically governed island, including through a show of force over Taiwan’s air defense zone.