A group of French senators who form a France-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group, including former Defense Minister Alain Richard, arrived on the self-governed island on Wednesday, local media reported.

Photo shows a French flag. (Kyodo)

China lodged its strong opposition to their Taiwan visit when the plan came to light in March, with the Chinese ambassador to France sending a letter to Richard saying the move would run counter to the "one-China" principle.

The senators are expected to meet with Taiwanese officials during their visit, including President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday, according to her office.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday that it wishes the senators "a rewarding visit aimed at taking two-way ties to new heights."

When China objected to the senators' plan, the French Foreign Ministry brushed aside the complaint, saying they can freely decide on their planning for visits and meetings.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province awaiting reunification by force if necessary.