Amid soaring tension between Taipei and Beijing, the head of Taiwan’s China-policy-making Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will visit the United States next month in order to gain more international support for the island nation. According to the statement released by the MAC on Friday, Chairman Chiu Tai-san was invited to the US to give a speech and attend an international seminar in order to enhance the international community’s understanding of the current situation across the Taiwan Strait. He will attend the opening speech of the international seminar co-organised by the Foundation for Cross-Strait Exchanges and the Center for New American Security (CNAS) on September 7. The title of the discussion is “Guarding Taiwan’s Democracy and Ensuring Peace in the Taiwan Strait”, with an aim to explain the current situation and the ROC government’s cross-strait policy.

Apart from this, a similar event will also be held at the Center for New American Security over the topic “Twenty National Congress of the Communist Party of China” and its implications for US-China-Taiwan relations. The MAC emphasized that China has recently continued to increase its compound pressure on Taiwan, including cultural attacks, and military intimidation, which has raised tensions in the Taiwan Strait and in the region. “We are calm and not aggressive, rational and not provocative, but we will not back down. We will firmly defend national sovereignty and security, stick to the defence line of democracy and freedom, and strive to maintain the peaceful status quo across the Taiwan Strait,” said the statement. “During this trip, Chairman Qiu plans to visit US officials and relevant think tanks as usual to exchange views on cross-strait relations,” it added.

US lawmaker Blackburn in Taiwan

The announcement regarding Chiu Tai-san’s visit comes as US Senator Marsha Blackburn, who landed in Taipei early on Friday, met with President Tsai Ing-wen in the country’s national capital, Taipei. Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee and the senior US official who arrived in Taipei after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month, said that US President Biden’s administration is looking forward to supporting Taiwan as an “independent state”. Reacting to the ongoing Chinese drills which is being seen as a show of aggression, President Tsai underscored that Beijing’s actions show how authoritarian countries are “disrupting and threatening” the world order.

Image: AP