2023-0622: Blinken Reaffirms U.S. Support for Taiwan During China Trip; Blinken Urged to Visit Taiwan

Taiwan Thanks Blinken for Reaffirming U.S. Support and Commitment to Taiwan During China Trip

On June 20, Taiwan’s government expressed gratitude for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s reiteration of the U.S.’ support for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and its security commitment toward Taiwan, during his recent trip to China.

Blinken, who arrived in Beijing on June 18, is the highest-ranking member of Biden’s administration to visit China, in a trip meant to ease rising U.S.-China tensions.

The U.S. remains “committed to meeting our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act, including making sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself,” Blinken said at a news conference on June 19, as he wrapped up his two-day visit to China.

“It’s very important that we [the U.S.] preserve the status quo that has helped maintain peace and stability across the strait for decades,” Blinken added.

He reiterated that the U.S.’ “one China” policy — guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S.-PRC Three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances to Taiwan — has not changed, adding that the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence.

“We [the U.S.] remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross-strait differences,” he said.

The U.S. and many other countries “have deep concerns about some of the provocative actions that China has taken in recent years, going back to 2016,” Blinken said, adding that a crisis over Taiwan “would produce an economic crisis that could affect quite literally the entire world.”

“Fifty percent of commercial container traffic goes through the Taiwan Strait every day. Seventy percent of semiconductors are manufactured on Taiwan. If as a result of a crisis that was taken offline, it would have dramatic consequences for virtually every country around the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, on June 20, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Jeff Liu said the Taiwan government expressed appreciation toward Secretary Blinken’s public reaffirmation of U.S.’ support for cross-Taiwan Strait peace and stability, and its repeated security commitment toward Taiwan, during his China visit.

“Taiwan will continue to deepen its close security partnership with the U.S. and strengthen cooperation with all like-minded countries so as to staunchly safeguard the security of the Taiwan Strait, the rules-based international order, as well as peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” he added.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202306200009
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/06/21/2003801890

U.S. Lawmakers Urge Blinken to Visit Taiwan During Asia Trip

In a letter dated June 15, U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany (R-WI) and six other House Republicans urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make a stopover in Taiwan during his trip to Asia, to demonstrate that Communist China cannot dictate the terms of U.S. alliances and partnerships.

“Such a visit would be consistent with the congressional intent of the Taiwan Travel Act (Public Law 115-135), which makes it the policy of the United States to encourage high-ranking U.S. executive branch officials to visit Taiwan and meet with their counterparts,” the lawmakers said.

“It would send a clear message that the United States does not need a permission slip from the Chinese Communist Party to meet with our friends and allies in Taiwan — or anywhere else,” they emphasized.

The visit would also enable Blinken to address concerns about “widely reported delays in the delivery of U.S. weapons systems to Taiwan,” which are “critical to Taiwan’s defense capabilities,” they added.

Asked about the letter, Tiffany said the Biden administration needs to increase engagement with Taiwan or else risk damaging vital U.S. interests in favor of appeasing China without apparent benefit.

“Taiwan is a key U.S. economic and security partner in the region,” Tiffany told The Epoch Times.

“Avoiding high-level coordination and communication [with Taiwan] to try and appease Beijing doesn’t reduce tensions in the region. It only encourages more Chinese bullying and brinksmanship,” Tiffany said.

The letter was also signed by Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Andy Ogles (R-TN), and Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA).

[1] Rep. Tom Tiffany’s Office: https://tiffany.house.gov/media/editorials-letters-and-articles/exclusive-republican-letter-asks-blinken-visit-taiwan-en
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202306180003