1118: Biden Objects to China Bullying Taiwan; Sen. Menendez Meets Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister in U.S. Capitol

President Biden Objects to China’s Coercive Bullying Against Taiwan

On November 14, at the sidelines of the G20 summit held in Bali, Indonesia, U.S. President Joe Biden objected to China’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions” toward Taiwan, and raised human rights concerns about Beijing’s conduct in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong during his first in-person meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he took office.

In a readout after the roughly three-hour meeting, the White House said Biden told Xi that the U.S. would “continue to compete vigorously” with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but that “competition should not veer into conflict.” 

The White House said Biden “raised U.S. objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region, and jeopardize global prosperity.”

The United States “opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Biden added.

Xi, according to the Chinese government’s own account of the meeting, “stressed that the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.”

In Taipei, Taiwan’s Presidential Office Spokesman Xavier Chang expressed gratitude to Biden for reaffirming the U.S.’ longstanding support of Taiwan and its opposition to unilaterally changing the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan will continue to safeguard its sovereignty and uphold regional stability and peace with like-minded partners, while stressing that armed confrontation is not an option for the two sides of the strait, he added.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/11/15/2003788937
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202211150005

Sen. Menendez Meets Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister in the Capitol, Reaffirming U.S. Commitment to Taiwan

On November 15, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez (D-NJ), hosted Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tsai Ming-yen in the U.S. Capitol, reaffirming U.S. commitment and support to Taiwan amid increasing threats and aggression from China.

After the meeting, Sen. Menendez tweeted a photo of the two of them.

“Honored to host Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Tsai Ming-yen in the Capitol & affirm our shared commitment to Taiwan’s resilience, security & democracy. In the face of Beijing’s aggressive attempts to coerce its neighbors, we must continue to support & stand with #Taiwan,” he said in the tweet.

During the current Congress, Sen. Menendez introduced several pro-Taiwan bills, including, among others, the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021” (S.1169); a “WHO for Taiwan” bill (S.812), which had become law on May 13, 2022; and the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2022” (S.4428), which had been approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 14, 2022, after some modifications.

The Taiwan Policy Act seeks, among other things, to significantly expand U.S. efforts to promote Taiwan’s security (including providing Taiwan up to US$6.5 billion in security assistance over five fiscal years); treat Taiwan as a “major non-NATO ally”; recommend “de facto diplomatic treatment” to Taiwan (e.g., stop referring to the “government in Taiwan” as the “Taiwan authorities”); recommend TECRO name change to TRO (Taiwan Representative Office); and support Taiwan internationally.

In April, 2022, the Senator visited Taiwan with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and four other members of Congress, to reaffirm U.S. “rock-solid relationship with Taiwan” amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

FAPA President Minze Chien adds: “Since the Taiwan Travel Act was signed into law in March 2018, there are no restrictions on high-level visits to and from Taiwan. It therefore behooves the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to invite Taiwan’s foreign minister to come before the committee to celebrate the best U.S.-Taiwan relationship in history that we have today. We welcome the deputy foreign minister’s visit to the Capitol wholeheartedly. The foreign minister should be next!”

[1] CNA ((in Hanji): https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aipl/202211170017.aspx