Like most nations, the United States has no formal diplomatic
ties with the Chinese-claimed island, but is its most important
international backer, to Beijing's anger, and President Joe
Biden's administration has moved to restate that support.
In a speech in Taipei, Raymond Greene, deputy head of the de
facto embassy the American Institute in Taiwan, said when he
first worked in Taiwan almost two decades ago, everything it did
related back to cross-Taiwan Strait issues and how Taiwan fit
into the U.S.-China relationship.
But over the past three years, efforts have been overwhelmingly
focused on deepening ties and working together to help other
countries develop their economies and democratic institutions,
"I've lost count of how many meetings the director and I have
had with our Taiwan partners where the word 'China' never even
came up," added Greene, who leaves Taiwan for Japan next week.
"This reflects a fundamental change in the U.S.-Taiwan
relationship," he said.
"The United States no longer sees Taiwan as a 'problem' in our
relations with China, we see it as an opportunity to advance our
shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and also as a
beacon to peoples around the world who aspire for a more just,
safe, prosperous, and democratic world."
In recent months, China has ramped up efforts to force Taiwan to
accept its sovereignty, with steps such as repeatedly flying
fighter jets and bombers into the island's air defence zone.
Most people on the democratically-governed island have shown no
interest in being ruled by autocratic China.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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