New News, Taipei – Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will strengthen her military ties with the United States (US) and will cooperate more closely with it and other friendly countries to counter “authoritarian expansion”.
Tsai Ing-wen said this to a group of visiting lawmakers from the US. A bipartisan delegation including Ro Khanna from California and Tony Gonzales from Texas arrived on the self-governing island Sunday (19/2) amid rising tensions between the US and China over alleged Chinese spy balloons.
The US, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is the island’s most important international backer and arms supplier.
“Taiwan and the United States continue to enhance military exchanges, and going forward Taiwan will cooperate more actively with the United States and other democratic partners to deal with global challenges such as authoritarian expansionism and climate change,” Tsai told five lawmakers in her office in Taipei, quoted from Reuters . No further details were provided.
While the US no longer has a military base on Taiwan, the countries’ military ties have deepened as China has increased pressure on the island, which it claims as its own.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had no information about such a visit.
China opposes any form of exchange between Taiwan and foreign governments. Nor does it rule out the use of force to control the island.
Khanna, a member of the US China House Selection Committee, told Tsai that the group, which met Monday with the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), was there to improve security and economic ties. TSMC is the world’s largest contract chip maker.
Tensions between the US and China escalated again last month after Washington accused Beijing of sending spy balloons to North America and Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his planned trip to Beijing. The plane, which Beijing says was a weather balloon that went off course, was eventually shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Source: Berita Baru