A US delegation led by former Sen. Chris Dodd arrived on the Taiwanese democratic island on Wednesday, amid heightened tensions with China.
Dodd’s was the first delegation to visit the country since President Joe Biden took office in January. A close friend of Biden, Dodd was accompanied by former Deputy Foreign Ministers Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and was greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Joanne Ou said the delegation’s visit would “help them exchange views on a variety of topics with relevant government agencies here.”
A senior government official in Washington said the delegation visited according to “a long bipartisan tradition.”
“This selection of three individuals – high-ranking politicians, longtime friends of Taiwan and close to President Biden – sends an important signal of US commitment to Taiwan and the background. its democracy, “the official said.
The visit signals growing concern in Washington about China’s growing aggression over Taiwan, which has never been ruling by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), analysts told RFA. , as well as being part of the People’s Republic of China.
The visit comes as Chinese aircraft increasingly infiltrate Taiwan’s Aircraft Defense Exclusion Zone (ADIZ) and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping urges the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to prepare. for war.
Kwei-Bo Huang, associate professor of international relations at National Chengchi University of Taiwan, said the delegation reflected the concerns of the Biden administration.
“Cross-strait relationships are getting more strained,” Huang said. “Biden has made a clear statement of his commitment to the people of Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act.”
“This sends a political message about Taiwan’s strengthening of self-defense.”
‘An image is very important’
Wu Se-Chih, a researcher at the Two-Strait Policy Association, agrees, saying the visit had strong political implications.
“I think this is really a very important image for Biden when it comes to the rules of exchange between Taiwan and the United States,” he said.
“We can expect future interactions between Taiwan and the US to work on this basis,” he said.
“There will be different levels of exchange, depending on security or economics,” he said.
Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office meanwhile warned that China “does not promise to give up the use of force and retains the option to take all necessary measures.”
It urged Washington to stop talking with Taiwan and pointed to the recent Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military exercises as a sign of its determination to oppose “independence forces of China. Taiwan”.
“We oppose any form of official exchange between the US and Taiwan, no matter how it is presented, whatever the reason is used as a cover-up,” said Ma’s spokesperson. Xiaoguang said in a news conference Wednesday.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it had appealed to Washington about the delegation, scheduled to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman urged Beijing to cease bombardment after the PLA sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s ADIZ on Monday.
“The United States notes with concern about the ongoing pattern [Chinese] The spokesman said it attempted to intimidate the region, including Taiwan.
“We urge Beijing to stop military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan and engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan instead.”
Reports by Hwang Chun-mei and Jane Tang for RFA Mandarin Service, and by Chung Kuang-cheng for Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.