Taiwan VP wraps up overseas trip with U.S. house speaker meeting -Breaking
TAIPEI, Reuters – Taiwan Vice President William Lai concluded his trip to America and Honduras by meeting virtually with Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House of Representatives), in a show of Washington’s support for the Chinese-claimed island.
Lai traveled to Honduras for the inauguration ceremony of its president this week, in an effort to strengthen strained ties with Taiwan’s only remaining diplomatic allies.
Today, only 14 countries maintain formal ties to Taiwan. Beijing views Taiwan as a Chinese territory without the right to state trappings.
Lai was on his return to Taiwan when he stopped by San Francisco, California on Friday.
“It was a pleasure to meet @SpeakerPelosi. He is a true friend of Taiwan and he has been a champion for human rights. “We are committed to working together in strengthening the U.S.–Taiwan relationship,” Lai shared a photo of the video conference, which was also attended by Hsiao B-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington.
Lai briefly talked with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in Honduras on Thursday https://www.reuters.com/world/us-taiwanese-vice-presidents-speak-rare-encounter-honduras-2022-01-28, a rare encounter that was highly symbolic and provoked anger in Beijing at a time of simmering tension with Washington.
While the United States doesn’t have any formal relationships with Taiwan, they are its largest international backer as well as arms supplier.
Lai was transiting Los Angeles while he traveled to Honduras. He also talked virtually with more than a dozen U.S. Congressmen.
Lai has the potential to be Taiwan’s next president by 2024.
The Biden administration has offered Taiwan continued U.S. assistance, which it has repeated talked about as a “rock-solid commitment” to democratically run Taiwan.
These tensions have further soured already weak Sino-U.S. relations.
China and the United States could end up in a military conflict if the United States encourages Taiwan’s independence, Beijing’s ambassador https://www.reuters.com/world/china/support-taiwan-independence-could-spark-us-military-conflict-with-china-chinese-2022-01-28 to Washington said in a U.S. radio interview broadcast on Friday.
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