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Indiana governor to visit Taiwan amid China tensions

Indiana governor to visit Taiwan amid China tensions

  • Governor Eric Holcomb is the latest US official to visit Taiwan, defying Chinese pressure to avoid such visits.
  • China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory.
  • Holcomb will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and semiconductor companies.

 

The governor of Indiana arrived in Taipei on Sunday, becoming the latest US official to visit Taiwan and defying Chinese pressure to avoid such visits.

China, which claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory despite strong objections from the Taipei government, has been conducting war games and drills near Taiwan since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s two-day visit to Taipei earlier this month.

A second group of US lawmakers visited Taiwan last week.

Governor Eric Holcomb announced on Twitter that he would also be visiting South Korea, and Taiwan’s presidential office stated that he would meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday morning.

“I’m energised to spend this week building new relationships, reinforcing long time ones and strengthening key sector partnerships with Taiwan and South Korea,” Holcomb tweeted.

He described his trip to Taiwan and South Korea as a “economic development trip,” noting that he was the first US governor to visit Taiwan since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.

“Our delegation will spend this week meeting with government officials, business leaders and academic institutions to further strengthen Indiana’s economic, academic and cultural connections with Taiwan and South Korea,” Holcomb tweeted.

China made no immediate response to his arrival.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry stated that Holcomb would meet with representatives from Taiwanese semiconductor companies and sign various trade and technology memorandums of understanding.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW), the world’s largest contact chip manufacturer, is constructing a $12 billion plant in Arizona.

China claims that Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in its relations with the United States, and that anything related to the island is an internal matter.

Taiwan’s government claims that because the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island, the People’s Republic of China has no right to claim it, and that only Taiwan’s 23 million people can decide their fate.

China’s military drills have continued around Taiwan, albeit on a smaller scale than the war games held immediately following Pelosi’s visit, the highest level US official to visit in decades.

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