Taiwan hopes to continue its close working relationship with the United States, the island’s de facto US ambassador told Antony Blinken, a longtime confidante of President-elect Joe Biden, as Taiwan seeks to cement ties with the new administration.
Claimed by China but ruled democratically, Taiwan enjoyed unprecedented support from President Donald Trump’s administration, including increased arms sales and visits from top officials to Taipei. Biden’s election has caused unease in Taiwan.
Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s representative in Washington and close to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, spoke to Blinken over the phone to convey Taiwan’s congratulations to Biden, Hsiao said on Twitter on Saturday.
“We appreciate the bipartisan support for US relations with Taiwan and hope that we can continue to work closely with the US in the years to come,” she added.
Tsai met Blinken at the State Department in 2015 when he was deputy foreign minister and she was a presidential candidate for the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
On this trip, Tsai was the first Taiwanese presidential candidate to visit the White House and met Evan Medeiros, President Barack Obama’s senior director of Asian affairs.
“It is therefore clear that the Democratic Party government had a friendly attitude towards Taiwan,” Tsai said on Wednesday in a statement issued by the DPP.
With decades of experience on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and as a former number 2 in the State Department, Blinken is widely viewed in Washington as a natural fit to be Biden’s national security advisor or a possible choice for the Secretary of State.
Democrat Biden did not talk about the role Blinken will play in the new government.
Tensions over Taiwan have increased dramatically since Republican Trump took office four years ago. China has regularly conducted military exercises near the island, including visits from senior US officials to Taipei earlier this year.
Taiwanese officials are expected to attend trade talks in Washington this week, and the island has expressed its confidence that these will continue under the new administration, indicating US bipartisan support for Taiwan.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)