TAIPEI, Taiwan ( Associated Press) – On a visit to Taiwan, US Senator Tammy Duckworth reiterated support for the island amid growing Chinese threats.
Duckworth met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday and emphasized the close economic, political and security ties between Taipei and Washington.
China claims the occupation of Taiwan by force as its territory, and on Monday sent 30 military aircraft into airspace close to the island. Taiwan’s defense ministry said it retaliated with jets, put air defense missile systems on alert and issued radio warnings.
In her remarks to Tsai, Duckworth said she wanted to “emphasize our support for Taiwanese security.”
“I want to say it’s not just about the military. It’s also about the economy,” Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot and lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, told Tsai.
Duckworth also cited strong bipartisan support for a bill to promote cooperation between Taiwan’s armed forces and the National Guard.
Tsai thanked the US government and Congress “for its importance to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits” as well as Duckworth for “keeping a close eye on security issues relating to Taiwan”.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has placed China’s threats against Taiwan under new focus, prompting increased support for arms sales and political support from Democrats and Republicans.
China went further in May to approach the Solomon Islands and nine other island nations with a comprehensive security proposal That, even if only partially realized, could give it a presence in the Pacific region very close to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and at the doorstep of the strategic US territory of Guam.
It is seen by the US and its allies as a possible way to block access to Taiwan if China makes good on its threat to invade the island.
In a speech on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Joe Biden’s administration aims to lead the international bloc in a broad coalition opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it sees as a more serious threat to the global order than China. , sees it as a long-term threat. ,
While relations with Taiwan are informal in honor of Beijing, the US remains a main supplier of defensive weapons and a source of political support in international organizations where China blocks Taiwan’s involvement.