The United States will strengthen trade with Taiwan and make new air and sea crossings across the strait separating the island from mainland China, in response to “provocative” actions by Beijing, a senior US official said on Friday.
An “ambitious road map” on the trade relationship will be released “in a few days,” while US forces will transit the Taiwan Strait “in the coming weeks,” Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific affairs.
This adviser to President Joe Biden stated that Beijing had used the recent and controversial visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to try to alter the current situation regarding the island, which China claims as part of its territory.
The visit by Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in years, was “consistent” with current Washington policy, Campbell said, noting that China “overreacted.”
Beijing used this pretext to “launch an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan to try to change the status quo, endangering peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and in the region in general,” he said.
China’s actions “remain provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented,” Campbell said.
Following Pelosi’s visit, Beijing launched multi-day air and sea drills around Taiwan. In response, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to the region.
Campbell said the Biden administration will “continue to deepen” (its) ties with Taiwan, including by continuing to advance the economic and trade relationship.”
US forces “will continue to fly, sail or operate where international law allows,” he said, without specifying the nature of the deployments to the strait or when they will be.
On China’s recent decision to stop cooperating with Washington on key issues such as combating climate change, Campbell said they have and will keep “open lines of communication with Beijing.”
The Taiwanese government applauded the US announcement. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed “sincere appreciation” for his “concrete actions to maintain security in the Taiwan Strait and peace in the region.”