Republican Governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb
A US governor met with the President of Taiwan on Monday, several days after Washington announced trade talks with Taipei and amid heated tensions with China over sovereignty over the island.
Eric Holcomb, the Republican governor of the US state of Indiana, landed on Sunday in Taiwan for a trip devoted largely to economic issues.
He spoke on Monday with President Tsai Ing-wen, who in opening the meeting in front of the media made direct reference to the military exercises carried out by Beijing and called on the allied [democracies] to unite and strengthen their cooperation in all fields in the face of the expansion of authoritarianism throughout the world.
The United States and Taiwan share many common interests, values and goals […]. We will continue to seek to build a strategic partnership with you, said the American governor.
Mr. Holcomb is expected to meet with representatives from Taiwan's semiconductor industry, world leaders in the field, before heading to South Korea on Wednesday.
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Tensions between the United States and China have been running high since Chinese officials viewed a visit to the island as a provocation at the start August by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
Beijing responded by imposing trade sanctions on Taiwan and through unprecedented exercises in the air and waters of the Straits of Taiwan.
Beijing, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and vows to take it back one day, by force if necessary, chafes at every diplomatic act moving towards official recognition of the island.