As China ups threat, U.S. Senator visits Taiwan

June 01, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:41 am IST - Taipei

Duckworth reiterates support for island

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday reiterated America’s support for Taiwan on her second visit in a year to the self-governing island claimed by China.

Ms. Duckworth met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and emphasised the close economic, political and security relations between Taipei and Washington.

China sent 30 military aircraft toward the island on Monday in an ongoing campaign of regular flights. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said it responded by scrambling jets, putting air defence missile systems on alert and issuing radio warnings.

Ms. Duckworth said she wanted to “emphasise our support for Taiwan security”. She cited strong bipartisan backing for a Bill she has put forward promoting cooperation between Taiwan’s armed forces and the National Guard.

“I do want to say that it is more than just about military. It’s also about the economy,” the Illinois Democrat told Ms. Tsai.

Ms. Tsai thanked the U.S. government and the Congress “for the importance they place on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” as well as Ms. Duckworth herself for “keeping a close watch on Taiwan related security issues.”

China said it strongly deplored Ms. Duckworth’s visit.

“Taiwan is a province of China, and there is no so-called President,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. He urged the U.S. to end all official contacts with Taiwan.

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