China, Russia are disrupting and threatening the world order

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s leader said on Friday that China and Russia were “disrupting and threatening the world order” with Beijing’s recent large-scale military exercises near the island and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. .

President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a meeting in Taipei with U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R, Tennessee), the second visit by a member of Congress since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month. rice field. The visit prompted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to launch military exercises, launch dozens of missiles, and send dozens of fighter jets and naval vessels to effectively surround the island. Some ships have crossed the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, which has long been a buffer between the two Straits.

The Chinese Communist Party claims sovereign Taiwan as its own territory and insists it will be brought under its control by force if necessary. Beijing has also strengthened its ties with Russia and is seen as tacitly endorsing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“These developments show how authoritarian states are disrupting and threatening the world order,” said Tsai.

Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, reaffirmed the two governments’ shared values ​​and said, “I look forward to continuing to support Taiwan.”

Taiwan United States
Senator Marsha Blackburn exchanges gifts with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (right) during a conference in Taipei, Taiwan, August 26, 2022. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

In subsequent remarks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Foreign Affairs and International Affairs Institute, Blackburn criticized leaders she did not identify for not taking threats from authoritarian regimes seriously enough.

In Beijing, China’s foreign ministry criticized Blackburn’s visit and urged her to suspend all forms of official communication with Taiwan.

The CCP considers visits to Taiwan by high-level foreigners to be interference in Taiwan’s business and a de facto recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty. The Chinese government’s recent military exercises were seen by some as a rehearsal for future military operations against the island.

In addition to conducting the exercises, Beijing has cut contact with the United States on key issues such as military issues and critical climate cooperation, raising concerns about a more proactive approach by Beijing. He also called on US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to formally lodge a protest. He later said the CCP was overreacting to fake a crisis.

Due to the separation of powers in the US government, the executive branch does not have the power to block lawmakers from visiting foreign countries, and Taiwan benefits from strong bipartisan support in Washington. The Chinese Communist Party refuses to acknowledge its basic principles.

U.S. State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said lawmakers and elected officials “have been and will continue to be in Taiwan for decades,” adding that only formal diplomatic ties with Beijing are possible. said it was in line with U.S. policy to maintain

“We will continue to take calm and decisive steps to maintain peace and stability in the region and support Taiwan in line with our long-standing policy,” Patel said at a press conference on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters on Friday that “China’s motive is to destroy the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, after which it wants to reduce Taiwan’s defense space.”

Taiwan is looking to the United States for enhanced defense cooperation and additional weapons, along with closer economic ties.

During their talks, Tsai and Blackburn emphasized the importance of economic ties, especially in the semiconductor sector, where Taiwan is a world leader and the United States is seeking more investment at home.

Blackburn arrived in Taipei late Thursday after visiting Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as part of the US push to “expand its diplomatic footprint in the region,” her office said. said in a statement.

Marsha Blackburn visits Taiwan
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.) walks with Taiwan Bureau Director Douglas Yutian Shu (left). The North American Affairs Bureau arrives by plane in Taipei, Taiwan, August 25, 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

“The Indo-Pacific region is the next frontier in the new Axis of Evil,” Blackburn was quoted as saying. “We must oppose the Chinese Communist Party.”

The Chinese Communist Party has expanded into the Western Pacific and has signed extensive security agreements with the Solomon Islands, which allies such as the United States and Australia see as an attempt to overthrow the region’s traditional security order. .

Pelosi was the first highest-level member of the US government to visit Taiwan in 25 years. The Chinese Communist Party’s response was to announce six zones surrounding the island for military exercises that included firing missiles over the island, some of which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Pelosi’s visit was followed by a delegation of congressmen and senators. This week, the governor of Indiana made a visit focused on business and academic cooperation. US politicians have called their visit an expression of their support for the island.

Blackburn, scheduled for a three-day visit, met with members of the US business community, as well as Foreign Minister Wu and National Security Council Secretary General Ku Wellington.

Washington, out of respect for Beijing, does not enter into official diplomatic relations with Taipei, but remains the island’s greatest security guarantor, and U.S. law requires Taiwan to ensure self-defense and access to the island. Requires threats to be considered a matter of “serious concern.”

US Congressional visits to the island have increased in frequency over the past year.

Associated Press