Taipei-Taiwan’s Vice-President Lai Ching-te concludes his visit to the United States and Honduras in a virtual meeting with Speaker of the United States House Nancy Pelosi, demonstrating further support from Washington for the island claimed by China.
Lai went to Honduras this week for the inauguration of the new president and sought to strengthen volatile relations with one of Taiwan’s last remaining diplomatic allies.
Currently, only 14 countries maintain official relations with Taiwan, and Beijing considers it to be China’s territory without the right to be trapped by the state.
Lai said he stopped in San Francisco on his way back to Taiwan on Friday to virtually talk to one of the Democratic Party’s most prominent politicians, Pelosi.
“I was delighted to meet @SpeakerPelosi, a human rights defender and a true friend of Taiwan. Mr. Lai was on Twitter, sharing a video call photo and being the de facto Taiwanese ambassador to Washington. A certain Mikoto Basho also attended.
Rye briefly talked with US Vice President Kamala Harris in Honduras on Thursday. This was very symbolic and was a rare encounter that caused anger in Beijing when tensions with Washington boiled.
The United States also has no formal relationship with Taiwan, but is Taiwan’s most important international supporter and arms supplier.
Rye, who passed through Los Angeles on his way to Honduras, effectively spoke with more than 12 members of the US Congress.
Rye is a potential candidate for president in the next election in Taiwan in 2024.
Taiwan has been encouraged by the continued US support provided by the Biden administration, which has repeatedly spoken about its “firm” commitment to democratically governed islands.
It further strained the already poor Sino-US relations.
Beijing’s ambassador to Washington said in a US radio interview broadcast Friday that China and the US could face a military conflict if the US encouraged Taiwan’s independence.