Eric Holcomb, governor of the US State of Indiana has become one of the latest top government officials to visit Taiwan. Holcomb arrived on the island Sunday for a four-day visit.
On Monday during a visit to the office of the president in Taipei, the governor told Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen that the main purpose of the visit is to boost economic exchanges, especially in the key semiconductor industry.
At the meeting in her office, President Tsai told Holcomb of the continuous ‘military threats’ by China and called for democratic partners.
“Taiwan has been confronted by military threats from China in and around the Taiwan Strait. At this moment democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas,” she said.
“Economic security is an important pillar of national and regional security.
“Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen cooperation with democratic partners in building sustainable supply chains for democracy chips.”
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Tsai also asked for the continued support of the US in advancing both nations’ relations and deepening cooperation.
‘‘I look forward to our supporting one another, and advancing hand in hand, forging closer relations and creating even deeper cooperation,” she said.
Holcomb assured Taiwan of continued partnership with the US.
‘‘We will continue to seek to build a strategic partnership with you,” he said.
The US governor’s visit comes days after US lawmaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island along with a delegation of US legislators. The trip had caused some temporary tension between the US and China.
Since the beginning of August, China has conducted unprecedented military drills close to the island, pledging to ‘‘resolutely defend national sovereignty.’’
Beijing has claimed that the US is attempting to reverse decades of diplomatic practice regarding the island’s status and that Taiwan is a province that must be “reunified” with the mainland, if necessary, through the use of force.
However, the Biden administration has stated that while it does not support Taiwan’s independence, it is opposed to any efforts to impose a forced transition on the country.
Before departing for South Korea later this week, Holcomb, who is travelling with leaders of the state’s economic development council, plans to visit representatives from Taiwan’s semiconductor industry and a number of prestigious universities.