Taiwan is bolstering its military ties with the United States and will cooperate even more closely with it and other friendly nations to deal with “authoritarian expansionism”, President Tsai Ing-wen has told a group of visiting lawmakers from the United States.
The bipartisan delegation including Ro Khanna from California and Tony Gonzales from Texas arrived on the self-ruled island on Sunday amid heightened tensions between the US and China over an alleged Chinese spy balloon.
While the United States no longer maintains military bases in Taiwan, the countries’ military ties have deepened as China has stepped up pressure on the island, which it claims as its own.
Illustrating the strength of ties with the United States, the delegation is on the island after a sensitive visit by a senior Pentagon official on Friday that was reported by the Financial Times.
The US, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is the island’s most important international backer and arms supplier.