Taiwan’s leader said on Friday that China and Russia are “disturbing and threatening the world order.” with Beijing’s recent large-scale military exercises near the island and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The president Tsai Ing-wen spoke during a meeting in Taipei with US Senator Marsha Blackburn, who is making the second visit by members of Congress since the House Speaker’s trip, Nancy Pelosi, earlier this month. That visit prompted China to launch military exercises in which it fired numerous missiles and sent dozens of fighter jets and warships to virtually surround the island. Some ships crossed the center line in the Taiwan Strait, which has long been a buffer between the sides.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to bring it under its control by force if necessary. Beijing has also boosted its relations with Russia and is seen as tacitly supporting Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
“These events demonstrate how authoritarian countries are disrupting and threatening the world order”Sai said.
Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, reaffirmed the shared values between the two governments and said that “I looked forward to continuing to support Taiwan as they move forward as an independent nation.”
In subsequent remarks at the Foreign Office’s Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, Blackburn criticized unnamed leaders for not taking the threat of authoritarian regimes seriously enough.
Xi Jinping, president of China and leader of the ruling Communist Party, “will not stop threatening Taiwan’s security simply because it would be in everyone’s best interest to do so.” said. “He is not a normal leader. And he is not interested in normal reactions or normal relationships with the rest of the world.”
In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that deplores Blackburn’s visit and urges her to cease all forms of official communication with Taiwansaying it sends the wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.
China views high-level foreign visits to Taiwan as interference in its affairs and de facto recognition of Taiwanese sovereignty.. China’s recent military exercises were seen by some as a rehearsal for future military action against the island, which US military leaders say could occur in the coming years.
In addition to organizing the exercises, China cut off contacts with the US on vital issues, including military affairs and crucial climate cooperation, raising concerns about a more aggressive approach by Beijing. He also called the US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, to file a formal complaint. He later said that China was exaggerating to fabricate a crisis.
Because of the separation of powers in the US government, the executive branch has no authority to prevent lawmakers from making such foreign visits, and Taiwan benefits from strong bipartisan support in Washington. China, where the Communist Party exercises total control over the country’s politics, refuses to recognize this fundamental principle.
US State Department spokesman, Vedant Patel said that members of Congress and elected officials “have been going to Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so,” and that it was in line with US policy of maintaining only formal diplomatic ties with Beijing.
“We will continue to take calm and resolute steps to maintain peace and stability in the region. and support Taiwan in accordance with our longstanding policy,” Patel said at a briefing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters on Friday that “China’s motivation is to destroy the status quo of the Taiwan Strait, and after this they want to reduce Taiwan’s defensive space.”
Taiwan is seeking intensified defense cooperation and additional weaponry from the US, along with closer economic ties.
In their meeting, Tsai and Blackburn stressed the importance of economic links, especially in the semiconductors, where Taiwan is the world leader and the United States seeks greater investment in the country.
Blackburn arrived in Taipei on Thursday night after visiting Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as part of a US effort to “expand our diplomatic presence in the area,” his office said in a statement.
“The Indo-Pacific region is the next frontier for the new axis of evil”, said Blackburn, a supporter of former President Donald Trump. “We must oppose the Chinese Communist Party.”
China has been making inroads in the Western Pacific, signing a sweeping security agreement with the Solomon Islands that the United States and allies like Australia see as an attempt to overthrow the traditional security order in the region.
Pelosi was the highest-ranking member of the US government to visit Taiwan in 25 years.. China’s response was to announce six zones around the island for military exercises that included firing missiles at the island, some of which landed in Japan‘s exclusive economic zone.
Following Pelosi’s trip, a delegation of members of the House and Senate visited. This week, the Governor of Indiana made a visit focused on business and academic cooperation. US politicians have called their visits a show of support for the island.
Washington has no official diplomatic ties with Taipei out of deference to China, but it remains the island’s greatest security guarantor.and is required by US law to ensure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself and to view threats to the island as matters of “grave concern.”
Taiwan and China separated in 1949 after a civil war and have no official relations but are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment.
China has stepped up its pressure on Taiwan since choosing Tsai, pro-independence trend, like its president. When Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation, China cut off contact with the Taiwanese government.
(With information from AP)
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