Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that the United States is planning on “cooperation” between its National Guard and Taiwan’s military amid mounting threats from communist China.
The announcement comes as China, which wants to claim the self-ruled island as its own, has stepped up its military harassment of Taiwan in recent years.
Last week, China’s military organized military drills in the sea and air spaces surrounding Taiwan, a move it described as a “solemn warning” to Washington against its “collusion” with the liberal democratic island.
Col. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said the regime’s military conducted “multi-service joint combat readiness patrol” and “actual combat drills” near Taiwan, according to a May 25 statement.
The warning came after U.S. President Joe Biden angered the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing when he said in a May 23 statement that America would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan if it was attacked, stating that it was the “commitment we made.”
U.S. officials said there had been no change to the longstanding U.S. policy toward Taiwan known as “strategic ambiguity” under which the administration has remained intentionally ambiguous on the subject of whether the United States would defend Taiwan, should it be invaded by the CCP.
President Tsai Ing-wen met with visiting U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) at her office in Taipei this week, and noted that Duckworth was one of the main sponsors of the Taiwan Partnership Act, aimed at developing a partnership between the National Guard and Taiwan as a means of maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.
The Act has received bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress but has yet to become law.
“As a result, the U.S. Department of Defense is now proactively planning cooperation between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan’s defence forces,” Tsai said, without providing further details.
“We look forward to closer and deeper Taiwan-U.S. cooperation on matters of regional security,” Tsai added.
Duckworth and 51 other senators sent a letter to Biden in mid-May, calling for Taiwan to be included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam have signed up to be part of the IPEF initiative, however, Taiwan was not included in the IPEF last week.
Tsai said on Tuesday that the island will keep expressing its willingness to participate.
“In the near future, we look forward to Taiwan and the United States working together in taking new steps to develop concrete plans that further deepen our economic partnership.”
During Duckworth’s visit to Taiwan, dozens of Chinese warplanes entered its air defense zone and were scrambled by Taiwan’s military jets.
Reuters contributed to this report.