‘Don’t worry’ – pro-Trump Taiwan seeks reassurance on Biden
Taiwan’s top Chinese policymaker on Monday sought to reassure nervous lawmakers that Democrat Joe Biden will continue US support for the island claimed by China, which has enjoyed strong support from the outgoing administration of Donald Trump.
Tensions around democratic Taiwan have intensified dramatically since Republican Trump took office four years ago.
China was initially enraged by Trump’s unprecedented call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after his election victory, followed by an increase in US arms sales and two visits to Taipei senior US officials in recent months.
While this has made Trump a popular figure with the public in Taiwan, China has responded by increasing military exercises near Taiwan, including fighter jets over the sensitive centerline of the Taiwan Strait, increasing the fears of conflict.
In the Taiwanese parliament on Monday, several lawmakers expressed concerns about a change in policy in Taiwan under the Biden administration, with some describing Biden as “pro-China”, and others highlighting Biden’s opposition to a project. law to strengthen Taiwan’s security in 1999.
But Chen Ming-tong, who heads Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, has repeatedly reassured lawmakers that a fundamental shift in US support for Taiwan is unlikely.
“There is no need to worry about a change of ownership at the White House,” he said. “While there may be changes in Biden’s tactics towards China, there will be no change in his Chinese strategy.”