US intensifies relations with Taiwan amid tensions in China – Community News
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US intensifies relations with Taiwan amid tensions in China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The US wants to deepen its relationship with Taiwan, the self-ruled island that has become a major point of conflict in the tense US-China relationship, and will work to counter Beijing’s “evil” influence, a That said the American diplomat on Friday.

In her first public press conference, Sandra Oudkirk, the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy, ​​reiterated that the US remains strongly committed to Taiwan and is actively working on new areas of cooperation, such as cybersecurity and supply chains. .

“The value of our partnership and support for Taiwan is rock solid,” said Oudkirk. “We are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan.”

US support for Taiwan comes as tensions between China and the island are now at their highest in decades, with Beijing stepping up its military harassment by flying fighter jets to Taiwan. China is not ruling out violence to reunite with Taiwan, which split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.

The US switched diplomatic recognition of China from the ruling Nationalist Party government in Taipei to the Communist Party in Beijing in 1979, but continued to maintain a strong unofficial relationship with the self-ruled island.

Oudkirk declined to comment on security initiatives or provide details about the presence of US troops on the island after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed on Thursday that US boots were indeed on the ground, although less than people would think.

“We will continue to advance the global and regional goals of the Biden administration, including counteracting the malicious influence of the PRC, recovering from the devastating effects of the pandemic and addressing the threat of climate change,” Oudkirk said, referring to the People’s Republic of China. , the official name of China.

Washington has supported Taiwan with arms sales to help the island better defend itself, and also routinely navigates the waters around the island in what it calls freedom of operative movement.

Oudkirk, who became director in the summer, also confirmed that the US will support Taiwan in its role on the international stage, without giving details.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appealed to other members of the United Nations on Tuesday to support Taipei’s independent participation in international organizations in the fields of transportation, health, climate change, culture and education. Taiwan, for example, is not a member of the World Health Organization.

China has already rejected Blinken’s statement. On Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China is the “sole legitimate government” representing all of China, including Taiwan, in international bodies.

“If anyone still tries to challenge the One-China principle and challenge UNGA Resolution 2758, they will only suffer an even greater defeat,” Wang said, referring to the UN resolution that paved the way for China to join the United Nations.

A major new focus of the US-Taiwan relationship is on supply chains amid the global crisis over computer chips known as semiconductors.

Taiwan is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc., or TSMC, the largest contract processor chip manufacturer in the world. Those chips are used in everything from smartphones and medical equipment to game consoles.

In recent weeks, local media reported that Taiwanese companies are concerned about a request for information from the US Department of Commerce to chipmakers about potentially sensitive information such as their inventory, production and their top customers. For example, TSMC serves customers in China and around the world.

“I have emphasized that the recent request for information from the Department of Commerce is just that, it is a request,” Oudkirk said in response to those concerns, saying it is voluntary.

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Video producer Liu Zheng of Associated Press in Beijing contributed to this report.

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