Taiwan plans to boost military exchanges with the US to curb authoritarian expansionism, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday after meeting with visiting US lawmakers.
The five-day US congressional visit comes after a top US defense official reportedly made a stopover in Taiwan.
“Taiwan and the United States continue to bolster military exchanges,” Tsai said after meeting with the delegation at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. “Going forward, Taiwan will cooperate even more actively with the United States and other democratic partners to confront such global challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change.”
Photo: AFP / Taiwan Presidential Office
Tsai did not provide further details on what the future exchanges might entail.
It is time “to explore even more opportunities for cooperation” between the US and Taiwan, Tsai said.
“Together we can continue to safeguard the values of democracy and freedom,” she added.
Taiwan and the US should “leverage their respective strengths and together build more resilient technology industrial chains,” Tsai said, adding that the two countries have collaborated on semiconductors, 5G communications and renewable energy sources under bilateral science and technology initiatives.
US Representative Ro Khanna, a member of the newly created US House of Representatives committee on strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party, said he was leading the bipartisan delegation’s visit to expand “the partnership on military and defense,” and to shore up ties with the nation’s world-leading semiconductor industry.
Established last month, the select committee is tasked with investigating issues related to US economic and security competition with China and making policy recommendations.
“We are here to affirm the shared values between the United States and Taiwan, a commitment to democracy, a commitment to freedom,” Khanna said yesterday.
He “particularly appreciated” a meeting on Monday with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), Khanna said.
Also in the delegation, which arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a five-day visit, are US representatives Jake Auchincloss — a member of the select committee — Jonathan Jackson and Tony Gonzales.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to seize it one day, opposes any official exchanges with the democracy and has reacted with anger to a flurry of trips to the island by US politicians in recent years.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) yesterday accused Taiwanese leaders of “provocation,” saying that “any futile separatist conspiracy or scheme relying on foreign forces to undermine cross-strait relations will only backfire and never succeed.”
Taiwanese authorities “cannot change the inevitable broader trend toward Chinese unification,” Wang told a regular news conference.
Additional reporting by CNA
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China
KINMEN: Coast guards on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should prohibit the entry of illegal vessels into ‘restricted’ waters to uphold maritime safety, Chen Chien-jen said Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to approach the security of Kinmen and Xiamen waters with rationality and equitability, following a boat chase that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week. Chen was responding to media inquiries ahead of a legislative session amid rising cross-strait tensions following the capsizing of a Chinese speedboat off the east coast of Kinmen on Wednesday last week during a pursuit by the Taiwanese coast guard. The Ministry of National Defense established the boundaries of “prohibited” and “restricted” waters around Kinmen in 1992 to better protect
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: TSMC founder Morris Chang said he has high hopes for the new fab, based on his experience in Japan 56 years earlier, and amid high demand for AI Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday held an opening ceremony for its first chip manufacturing fab in Kumamoto, Japan, which it hopes will improve chip supply resilience and help Japan usher in a semiconductor renaissance. The Kumamoto fab is slated to enter volume production in the fourth quarter of this year. The Japanese government said it would extend its financial support of the project to include the construction of a second factory, as TSMC’s investment is crucial to its efforts to revive its semiconductor industry. The Kumamoto fab is owned by a joint venture, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc (JASM), which