In a significant move aimed at signalling its stance to China, the United States has expressed opposition to any external interference or influence in Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for January 13. A senior official from the Biden administration, speaking anonymously to reporters, emphasized that Washington remains neutral in the electoral process, refraining from endorsing any specific candidate.
The Biden administration’s firm stand on non-interference underscores the delicate nature of U.S.-Chinese relations. Despite not maintaining formal diplomatic relations, the United States remains a crucial supporter and arms supplier for Taiwan.
Against the backdrop of escalating tensions between Taiwan and China, with the latter considering the island its territory, the U.S. aims to maintain the status quo in the self-ruled democratic nation. The recent launch of a Chinese satellite over Taiwan, triggering an air raid alert, has intensified political tensions just days before the presidential elections.
The Biden administration official warned that any military pressure or coercion from Beijing in response to the election would be deemed provocative. Emphasizing the potential global repercussions, the official stated that disruptions in the Taiwan Strait could seriously harm the global economy, affecting economies worldwide.
Post-election, the United States plans to send an unofficial delegation to Taiwan for direct communications, potentially including former high-ranking American officials. The move is asserted to be consistent with the longstanding one-China policy. The Biden administration expressed confidence in Taiwan’s democratic processes, highlighting its support for free and fair elections and commending Taiwan as a global model for democracy.
Simultaneously, a top White House official, Jon Finer, engaged in discussions with a senior Chinese official, Liu Jianchao, to address tensions related to Taiwan and the South China Sea. The meeting, characterized as constructive, emphasized the importance of peace and stability in these regions.
In separate virtual talks, senior U.S. and Chinese officials, including U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Chinese Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong, discussed collaboration on law enforcement issues, particularly the illicit flow of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.
Overall, the developments underscore the intricate dynamics in U.S.-Chinese relations, with the Biden administration navigating sensitive issues surrounding Taiwan, emphasizing the need for stability and open communication to avoid potential global economic repercussions.