Taiwan, US Coast Guard meet despite Chinese pressure


Beijing — US and Taiwan Coast Guard officers have gathered to discuss improving cooperation and communication, despite China’s efforts to isolate democracy on the autonomous islands.

The virtual conference, held on Tuesday, was held in the midst of moves by the United States and others against Beijing’s pressure campaign aimed at forcing Taiwan to accept the view that Taiwan is part of China.

China recalled Lithuania’s ambassador to Lithuania on Tuesday, expelling the highest representatives of the Baltic states to Beijing and allowing Taiwan to open an office in Lithuania under its own name.

Leader Xi Jinping of China, diplomatic against Taiwan, are increasingly economic and military pressure. Taiwanese residents have overwhelmingly rejected the demand for political unity with the mainland of Beijing. China has long blocked Taiwan from joining the United Nations and other international organizations, and has increased such pressure since the independence-oriented Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016. Tsai Ing-wen was reelected by the majority last year.

The United States maintains only informal relations with Taiwan in honor of Beijing, which is the island’s main arms supplier and closest political ally.

The de facto embassy of Washington in Taipei, Taiwan’s American Institute in Taiwan, said at a meeting on Tuesday, “Discussing ways to improve joint maritime response to search and rescue, disaster relief, and environmental missions, and opportunities for improvement. “. Communication and continuous personnel education exchange. “

“They also continued to work on the common goal of conserving maritime resources. Reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries. Participate in joint search and rescue and maritime environmental response events.” Stated.

“The United States supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation and contribution to global concerns,” he said.

The conference follows the announcement of the US plan to sell 40 self-propelled artillery guns to Taiwan in a $ 750 million deal worth strong criticism from Beijing.

As relations with China deteriorated, the former administration of Donald Trump supported relations with Taiwan and showed the stance that President Joe Biden has maintained so far.

China did not immediately respond to the meeting of the two Coast Guards, but last week the sale of howitzers “had serious interference with China’s internal affairs and falsely signaled the” Taiwan independence “separation forces, Taiwan. It endangered the stability of the entire strait. ” .. “

“Chinese [People’s Liberation Army] We will take all necessary steps to firmly protect China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to make ongoing efforts to advance the national unity process, “said Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Wu, August 6. Said in a statement of the day.

In addition to the sharp decline in relations with Washington, China’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy is at odds with many western democracies, especially Canada and Australia.

On Thursday, China dismissed Canada’s protest against a harsh ruling given to Canadians by a Chinese court. The Canadian case is believed to be related to the arrest of top executives of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Vancouver.

Canada and other countries, including Australia and the Philippines, are facing trade boycotts and other Chinese pressures in the conflict with Beijing over human rights, coronaviruses and control of the South China Sea. The United States has warned that US travelers are facing “increased risk of arbitrary detention” in China for reasons other than law enforcement.

Beijing has blocked the import of wheat, wine and other products from Australia after the government sought to investigate the cause of the coronavirus pandemic.

Associated Press