US governor meets Taiwan president after China drills amid escalating tensions
Iran Press TV
Monday, 22 August 2022 5:16 AM
A US Republican governor has visited Taiwan and met with president Tsai Ing-wen, becoming the latest American official to visit the self-ruled island amid escalating tensions with China.
Eric Holcomb, governor of the state of Indiana, landed in Taiwan on Sunday for an "economic development trip" days after Washington announced trade talks Taiwan in a show of support following "China's military threats".
US-China tensions have sharply escalated since Beijing staged large military drills in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this month.
China had issued repeated warnings against such a provocative trip.
Beijing summoned the US ambassador in Beijing over Pelosi's visit, notifying the envoy about the country's strong protest and launched a burst of military activity in the island's surrounding waters.
China has time and again said that Taiwan - viewed by Beijing as a breakaway province - must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
In her meeting with Holcomb on Monday, President Tsai Ing-wen directly referenced Beijing's drills and called for like-minded countries to continue supporting Taiwan.
"Presently we are facing the continued expansion of global authoritarianism," she told Holcomb.
"Taiwan has been confronted by military threats from China in and around the Taiwan Strait. At this moment democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas," she claimed.
Holcomb said the United States and Taiwan "share so many common values and interests and goals".
"We will continue to seek to build a strategic partnership with you," he said.
Holcomb is also expected to meet representatives of Taiwan's world-leading semiconductor industry before leaving on Wednesday for South Korea.
Holcomb's visit comes on the heels of the announcement of trade talks between Washington and Taipei in the coming months as a senior US diplomat warned "Beijing will continue to put pressure on Taiwan."
China has lashed out at the plans for business talks with Washington -- though it also has multiple trade deals with Taiwan, signed during years when their relations were warmer.
Under the "One China" policy, nearly all countries across the globe recognize Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan, including the US, which has no formal diplomatic ties with the territory, but continues to court the secessionist government in Taiwan, support its anti-China stance and supply it with massive amounts of armaments.
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