TAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen warned on April 15 that China’s military activities against the self-ruled island pose a threat to regional peace.
The visit marks the first U.S. delegation to visit Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office in January.
Tsai said, “We are very willing to work with like-minded countries, including the United States, to jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and deter aggression and provocation.”
On April 12, 25 Chinese military aircraft, including 14 J-16 fighter jets, entered Taiwan’s ADIZ. It was the largest incursion ever reported by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.
Bejing is angry at the U.S. visit. On April 14, at a daily briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China has “lodged solemn representations with the U.S.” He also called on Washington to “prudently handle Taiwan-related issues” in order to “avoid further grave damage to China–U.S. relations.”
Washington currently has no formal diplomatic ties with Taipei but has maintained a robust relationship with the island based on the Taiwan Relations Act, which was signed into law by former President Jimmy Carter in April 1979. The United States is also Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier.
Speaking after Tsai at the Presidential Office, Dodd reaffirmed Washington’s relationship with Taipei.
“I can say with confidence that the United States’ partnership with Taiwan is stronger than ever,” Dodd said.
“At the request of my long-standing friend, President Joe Biden, to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to this partnership and to deepening our cooperation on the multitude of interests that we share in common.”
Dodd said that the Biden administration will deepen its economic ties with Taiwan in addition to helping the island to expand its “international space” and supporting Taipei’s “investments in self-defense.”
Beijing opposes Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and meetings, seeing any international presence that the island might enjoy as tantamount to suggesting that Taiwan is a de facto nation-state. Currently, Taiwan is not a member of the World Health Organization because of objections by Beijing.
“Taiwan’s magnificent efforts in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak are a testament to how a democracy can provide strong effective governance for the benefits not only for its own citizens, but for the globe,” Steinberg said at the Presidential Office.