Taiwan: Indiana GOP Governor Eric Holcomb is the latest US official to visit the island


Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana announced on Sunday he had arrived in Taiwan, becoming the latest US official to visit the self-governing island amid its growing tensions with China.

“I appreciate the warm welcome to Taiwan from Douglas Hsu, Taiwan’s Director of North American Affairs,” the governor said. posted on Twitteraccompanied by a photo of him and Hsu.

Holcomb and a delegation that includes Indiana’s secretary of commerce are in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei to kick off an “economic development trip” to Taiwan and South Korea, following the signing of the federal CHIPS law and of the recent announcement that Taiwan-based semiconductor company MediaTek will open a design center in Indiana, its office said in a statement.

Holcomb will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday morning Taipei time, Taiwan presidential office spokesman Chang Tun-Han said. Holcomb and Tsai will discuss “economic, business, technological and cultural collaborations,” the spokesperson added.

Holcomb’s trip follows a visit to Taiwan earlier this month by Nancy Pelosi, who became the first U.S. House Speaker in 25 years to visit the island at a time when Washington-Beijing relations are strained. particularly tense. His visit upset China, which responded by launching extensive military exercises around Taiwan and suspending key diplomatic communications with the United States.

Last Sunday, a second bipartisan U.S. Congressional delegation, led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, traveled to Taipei with the goal of “reaffirming U.S. support for Taiwan” and “encouraging stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait”.

China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan part of its territory, although it has never controlled the democratic island, and Beijing has long vowed to “reunify” the island with China, through the force if necessary.

The White House said there was no change in the United States’ One China policy and that Washington recognized the People’s Republic of China as China’s only legitimate government.

The United States maintains close unofficial ties with Taiwan and is required by law to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. But the United States remains deliberately vague about whether it would militarily defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity”.

Holcomb is the first U.S. governor to visit Taiwan since 2019 and the first Indiana governor to visit the island in 17 years, his office said in a statement.

While in Asia, he plans to meet with Taiwanese and South Korean government officials, business leaders and academic institutions.

“The delegation will focus on strengthening Indiana’s economic and academic partnerships and strengthening the state’s commitment to innovation, as well as a commitment to work together to build the economy of the future. internationally,” his office said.

This story was updated with additional information on Sunday.

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