The United States’ commitment to Taiwan is “rock-solid”, the State Department said late Saturday, as it warned that China’s “attempts to intimidate” the island are a threat to regional peace.
The comments are the first from Washington on relations with Taiwan since President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week, and came on the same day Taipei reported multiple Chinese jets and bombers had flown into its air defense zone.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said it “notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan” and “urges Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan”.
The statement added that Washington would continue to work on “deepening” ties with democratic Taiwan.
Taiwan split from China at the end of a civil war in 1949. Its 23 million people live under the constant threat of invasion by the mainland, whose leaders view the island as their territory and have vowed to one day take it.
Washington diplomatically recognises Beijing over Taipei but remains the latter’s most important unofficial ally and military backer.