This unofficial delegation consists of former Senator Chris Dodd and former senior state officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. Your journey comes when China has carried out a series of aggressive show of force against the island.
“The selection of these three people – senior statesmen who are long-time friends of Taiwan and who are personally close to President Biden – is an important signal of US commitment to Taiwan and its democracy,” the officials said.
“This delegation follows a long-standing, bipartisan tradition of US administrations sending high-level, unofficial delegations to Taiwan,” the officials said, adding that their visit also includes the US and Taiwan. “To mark the 42nd anniversary of the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act, which President Biden voted for.”
Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory even though it has been ruled separately for more than seven decades. Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that Beijing will never allow the island to become independent and has refused to rule out the use of force if necessary.
According to the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, China sent 25 fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone on Monday, the largest breach of that space since the island began regularly reporting such activity in September.
In an interview with NBC on Sunday, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said, “What we have seen, and what is really worrying, is the increasingly aggressive government action in Beijing against Taiwan, which is increasing tensions in the strait.”
“And we have an obligation to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, a bipartisan obligation that has been in place for many, many years, to ensure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to ensure that we are in peace and security upheld by the EU. ” Western pacific. We stand by these commitments, “he said.
“It would be a grave mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force,” said Blinken.
Washington has formal relations with Beijing and informal relations with Taiwan under the One China policy. The US regularly sells military equipment to the island.
On Friday, the State Department “issued new guidelines for the US government’s interaction with Taiwanese counterparts to foster US government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepened informal relationships.”
“The guidelines underline that Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important security and economic partner who is also a driving force in the international community,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price.
The visit of the unofficial delegation comes just weeks after the US ambassador to Palau, John Hennesey-Niland, the first seated US ambassador to Taiwan in more than 40 years in an official capacity.
During the Trump administration, a number of government officials were dispatched to Taiwan to counter China.
CNN’s Brad Lendon contributed to this report.