US to deepen relations with Taiwan in face of China tensions

TAIPEI (AP) The U.S. wants a deeper relationship with Taiwan. Taiwan has become a major conflict point in the strained U.S.–China relationship. A diplomat from the U.S. stated Friday that the U.S. will counter Beijing's malign influences.
Sandra Oudkirk (the new director of American Institute in Taiwan), reiterated her deep commitment to Taiwan in her first press conference. She also stated that the U.S. is still actively engaged in new areas of cooperation, such as cybersecurity and supply chain.

Oudkirk stated that Taiwan's support and partnership are of great value. We are determined to strengthen our ties with Taiwan.

As tensions between China's mainland and Taiwan rise, the U.S. supports Taiwan. Beijing has increased its military harassment of Taiwan by flying fighter planes towards it. China is open to the possibility of Taiwan joining forces with them, as Taiwan was split from China in 1949 during a civil war.

In 1979, the U.S. changed its diplomatic recognition of China to the Communist Party in Beijing from the Nationalist Party government in Taipei. However, it has maintained a strong and unofficial relationship with the self ruled island.

Oudkirk refused to comment on security measures or provide details about U.S. troops present on the island. However, Taiwan's President TsaiIng-wen confirmed that U.S. soldiers were on the ground. This is in contrast to what many would assume.

Oudkirk stated that we will continue to push the global and regional goals of Biden's administration. He also mentioned the People's Republic of China (China's official name) and how China's pandemic has left its victims.

Washington has provided arms sales to Taiwan to increase the island's defense capabilities. It also navigates the waters around Taiwan in what it calls freedom-of-operation movements.

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Oudkirk, who was appointed director this summer, reiterated that the U.S. will continue to support Taiwan's international role, but did not give details.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken called on other UN members to support Taipeis participation in international organizations related transportation, health and climate change. Taiwan is, however, not a member in good standing of the World Health Organization.

China already condemned Blinken's statements. Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, stated that China is the only legitimate government to represent the entire country, Taiwan included, in international bodies.

Wang stated that anyone who continues to try to undermine the one-China principle or UNGA Resolution 2758 will be defeated. Wang was referring to the U.N. resolution which allowed China to join the United Nations.

The U.S.-Taiwan relationship has shifted to supply chains in light of the worldwide shortage of semiconductors.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc. (TSMC) is the largest contract manufacturer of processor chip chips worldwide. It's located in Taiwan. These chips are used in everything, from smartphones and medical equipment to gaming computer.

Local media reports that Taiwanese businesses are worried about the U.S. Department of Commerce asking for sensitive information, such as inventory, production, and top customers, from chipmakers. TSMC serves clients both in China and around the globe, as an example.

I have repeatedly stressed that the Department of Commerce's recent request to information is only that. It is a request. Oudkirk responded to these concerns by saying that it is voluntary.


This report was contributed by Liu Zheng, Associated Press video producer in Beijing.