Who’s Behind the Quick Rise in US-Taiwan Relations

Voice of America
Date: March 27, 2019
By: Ralph Jennings

A demonstrator holds flags of Taiwan and the United States in support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S., January 14, 2017.

TAIPEI — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is scheduled to discuss her government’s foreign relations by video on a panel formed by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. Diplomatic agreements between the United States and China prohibit formal, high-level Taiwan-U.S. encounters, and China is angered when it feels the United States is edging away from its deal.

Yet the Taiwanese leader’s participation comes as no surprise. Informal U.S.-Taiwan relations have reached new highs under President Donald Trump over the past two years, and hundreds of people in Congress, American think tanks and U.S.-based political action committees have been laying a foundation for that resurgence in relations.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s and threatened to take it by force if needed.

U.S.-based Taiwan advocates, American as well as Taiwanese, work daily with ideologically-motivated congress members to elevate Taiwan’s relations with the United States despite opposition from China — or because of it – observers say.

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