Taiwan says China’s manoeuvres alter status quo in the Indo-Pacific

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday said China’s recent manoeuvres surrounding the island altered the status quo of the Info-Pacific, and vowed to work with the U.S. and others to jointly safeguard regional stability.

Tsai told an unofficial U.S. delegation led by former Democratic senator Christopher Dodd that China has frequently dispatched military vessels and aircraft to carry out manoeuvres in the waters and air space surrounding Taiwan.

“These actions alter the status quo in the Indo-Pacific and threaten regional peace and stability,’’ Tsai asserted.

Dodd said that the U.S. partnership with Taiwan was stronger than ever as the two sides share deep economic ties, mutual commitment to democratic values, and “a critically important security partnership.”

He said that he came to Taipei as requested by his longstanding friend, President Joe Biden, to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to these partnerships and to deepening our cooperation on a multitude of interests that we share in common.

Dodd said that Tsai would find the Biden administration a reliable, trusted friend, which would help Taiwan expand its international space, support its investments in self-defense, and deepen what he called already robust economic ties.

He and former deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived in Taipei on Wednesday in the first visit by a U.S. delegation since the Biden administration took office in January.

“We are here today as a bipartisan delegation,’’ Dodd told Tsai.

Dodd strongly backs the 1979 legislation of the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) that defines U.S. relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties. (dpa/NAN)