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The Biden delegation pledged the US to support Taiwan’s self-defense – The Diplomat


See across the Pacific Ocean | Diplomatic | East Asia

An unofficial delegation led by former Sen. Chris Dodd completed a three-day visit to Taiwan to show the support of the Biden administration.

Taiwan has come to the fore in the form of high-profile official visits in the administration of former US President Donald Trump, let the Taiwanese wonder whether President Joe Biden will continue to strengthen relations between Washington and Taipei, which benefits both countries but also angers Beijing.

Mr. Biden forecasted a strong signal this week by sending a delegation to Taipei led by former Sen. Chris Dodd to affirm Washington’s commitment to Taiwan’s self-defense in the context. tensions are increasing with China.

Dodd told Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen that the Biden administration will be a “trusted and trusted friend” to Taipei and will work to deepen security partnership with Taiwan. North.

“I believe this administration will help you expand the international space and support your investment in self-defense,” Dodd told Tsai during a meeting on Thursday.

Dodd was attended by former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg and the State Department’s Taiwan Coordinating Director Dan Biers. All are friends of Biden, who is likely to want to emphasize the bipartisan nature of US support for Taiwan and Allowing worries about history about his willingness in the Democratic Party to stand up against the Chinese government.

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Last week, Ministry of Foreign Affairs publish new guidelines for Taiwan-US exchanges, allowing “work-level meetings” to take place inside federal buildings or Taiwan’s representative office in New York. These rule changes were initially prompted by a bill signed by Trump and touted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but they have received bipartisan support in setting Washington’s foreign policy.

Dodd mentioned these instructions to Tsai, saying the change “clearly and enthusiastically encourages” the visits of US government officials to Taiwan and vice versa.

The delegation also met with six members of a US caucus in Taiwan’s legislature, giving them an opportunity to interact with lawmakers in the ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP) as well. such as the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People’s Party of Taiwan (TPP) in opposition.

According to reports in Taiwanese media, members of the US delegation asked the KMT lawmakers to clarify their explanations of the so-called 1992 consensus, an alleged understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China” but there are different interpretations of what it means. there.

Tsai and the ruling DPP rejected the 1992 agreement, a move Beijing saw as a tacit declaration of Taiwan’s independence.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that in 2019, he explained the 1992 consensus was “one country, two systems”, a form of governance that would put Taiwan under Chinese control and is unpopular in all politics in Taiwan. Tsai immediately denounced Xi’s speech and quickly noticed his popularity.

Meanwhile, the KMT has struggled to clarify its own understanding of consensus. KMT lawmaker Chiang Wan-an, who met with the US delegation, said on Friday that consensus does not mean “one country, two systems” but remains the historical basis for interaction. cross-strait.

The US delegation was careful not to mention Beijing publicly and not to mention whether the US military would assist Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

The US continues to maintain its strategic ambiguity, its policy of not revealing whether the US military will help Taiwan defend itself against Chinese attacks. Some US officials have contemplated ending the policy and publicly pledging to defend Taiwan, while others argue that the US remains ambiguous on the subject in Taiwan’s favor.

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