The Associated Press said that the members of the delegation are former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd and former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg from the Obama era and Richard Armitage of Republican President George W. Bush. CNN reported that, at Biden’s request, they will meet with senior Taiwan officials. The two leaders will meet President Chai Jingwen Thursday morning, Reuters reported.
CNN quoted a statement issued by the White House as saying: “The selection of these three people – who are experienced statesmen and longtime supporters of Taiwan and personally close to President Biden – sends an important signal about the commitment of the United States and Taiwan’s democracy there.”
The United States and Taiwan are celebrating the forty-second anniversary of signing the Taiwan Relations Act, for which Joe Biden voted as a Senator in 1979.
Taiwan support at a time of mounting Chinese pressure
The US State Department issued guidelines in early April to strengthen contacts between Washington and Taiwan. The new rules allow for freer meetings between US and Taiwan officials in informal relations.
The United States took the step at a time of heightened tensions in relations with China, which Taiwan considers a democratic, rebellious province and sensitive to any visits, especially by Western officials to the island. Last year, in early August and September, the president of the Czech Senate, Milos Vesterel, was convinced, whose visit to Beijing was severely criticized.