Despite growing tensions with China after US leader Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, a US delegation has traveled to Taipei again. Republican politician Eric Holcomb said Monday after a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that the goal of his “economic development trip” is to build a “strategic partnership” with Taiwan. Washington announced last week that it would begin trade talks with Taipei in the fall.
The US and Taiwan share “many common values, interests and goals,” said the governor of the US state of Indiana. Holcomb also plans to meet with representatives of Taiwan’s world-leading semiconductor industry before continuing to South Korea on Wednesday. Alongside South Korea, Taiwan is the most important manufacturer of microchips, which are currently in short supply worldwide.
Beijing rejects Taiwan’s plans for trade talks with Washington, although it also has several trade deals with Taipei from previous years. Beijing has also criticized any diplomatic action that might lend legitimacy to Taiwan and has responded with growing anger to visits by Western politicians. China’s military held its largest-ever maneuvers in the waters around the island following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, including launching missiles.