On Wednesday, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told an online forum on US-Taiwan relations that Taiwan is a "sea fortress" blocking Chinese expansion in the region.
The forum was organized by the Global Taiwan Institute, and according to Reuters, several former US officials were in attendance. Wu said that Taiwan played a "significant role" in ensuring freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, two areas where the US military has stepped up its activity.
"A democratic Taiwan serves as a sea fortress to block China’s expansionism into the wider Pacific," Wu said. Boosting ties with "democracies" is something the Biden administration has touted as a way to counter China, something Wu said Taiwan plays a role in.
"Taiwan has learned valuable lessons and developed various means to tackle the threat to democracy, and we are more than willing to share this knowledge with fellow democracies," he said.
Wu’s comments come as Taiwan is holding military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion. The drills are simulating an attack that took out Taiwan’s airfields, so fighter jets are practicing landing on stretches of highway.
Taiwanese Air Force fighter jets park on a highway that is converted as a runway during the take-off and landing drill as part of the annual Han Kuang drill in Pingtung, Taiwan, 15 September 2021. pic.twitter.com/HvWtKk0d9r— e-Αmyna (@e_amyna) September 15, 2021
The Biden administration has continued the tradition of selling weapons to Taiwan and has been sailing warships through the sensitive Taiwan Strait just about every month. The latest US transit through the sensitive waterway was carried out by a US Navy warship and a US Coast Guard cutter.
The US and Taiwan have been holding talks on coast guard cooperation that could result in future joint exercises.