Taiwan’s president said the self-ruled island will deepen its military ties with the United States.
President Tsai Ing-wen made the vow Tuesday during a meeting with visiting U.S. lawmakers in Taipei. She said Taiwan will “cooperate even more actively with the U.S. and other democratic partners to confront such bold challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change.”
The United States switched diplomatic recognition of China from Taiwan to Beijing in 1979, but it provides Taiwan military equipment for self-defense under the Taiwan Relations Act.
Beijing considers the democratically-ruled island part of its territory, even though it has been self-governing since the end of China’s civil war in 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces were driven off the mainland by Mao Zedong’s Communists. China has vowed to bring the island under its control by any means necessary, including a military takeover.
China has carried out numerous air and naval military exercises near Taiwan in recent years, including last August in response to a visit to Taipei by then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It has also put diplomatic pressure on countries to get them to cut formal ties with Taiwan.
U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, a member of the bipartisan delegation and a member of a newly created special committee that oversees the U.S.-China competitive status, told President Tsai the delegation is in Taiwan to “affirm the shared values between the U.S. and Taiwan — a commitment to democracy, a commitment to freedom.”
In addition to meeting with Tsai and Taiwanese lawmakers, the U.S. delegation met with Morris Chang, the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest contract semiconductor company.