Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and two former State Department officials are visiting Taiwan amid increasing tensions with China.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared photos of Foreign Minister Joseph Wu with Dodd and former State Department Deputy Secretaries Richard Armitage and James Steinberg on Wednesday.
The ministry said “the presence of the statesmen & friends of #Taiwan is a strong vote of #US confidence in the country & its freedom- & democracy-loving people.”
Minister Wu greeted @SenChrisDodd & former @StateDept Deputy Secretaries Richard Armitage & James Steinberg upon arrival in #Taipei. The presence of the statesmen & friends of #Taiwan is a strong vote of #US confidence in the country & its freedom- & democracy-loving people. pic.twitter.com/pPYzHo9E78— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) April 14, 2021
A senior administration official told The Hill that the men traveled to Taiwan as an unofficial delegation at President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE’s request. It comes as the nations mark the 42nd anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, which Biden voted for when he was a U.S. senator.
The delegation is expected to meet with Taiwanese officials, the official said, adding that it follows a “longstanding bipartisan tradition of U.S. administrations sending high-level, unofficial delegations to Taiwan.”
“The selection of these three individuals – senior statesmen who are longtime friends of Taiwan and personally close with President Biden – sends an important signal about the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and its democracy,” the official said.
The delegation is expected to meet with Wu and President Tsai Ing-wen during their visit, The Wall Street Journal reported. Among the topics to be discussed are China’s recent provocations against Taiwan, and increased support on trade, security and other economic matters.
The meeting comes as China steps up its intimidation of Taiwan over Tsai’s refusal to acknowledge China’s claim over the nation. The Associated Press noted that under federal law, the U.S. has to ensure that the island can defend itself.
The Biden administration official said that the U.S. is “committed to engaging Taiwan and deepening our cooperation on shared interests in line with the U.S. ‘one China’ policy, as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.”