U.S. security cooperation with Taiwan to strengthen: State Department

04/15/2021 12:31 PM
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Washington, April 14 (CNA) The United States will continue deepening its security cooperation with Taiwan to ensure that it has the means to defend itself against a growing threat from China, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.

The official made the comments to CNA after China's Maritime Safety Administration announced that an area around the Nanpeng Islands in the South China Sea would be closed to shipping between April 15-20 as the country's military conducts live-fire training exercises.

The move appeared to be in response to the arrival in Taiwan on Wednesday of a delegation sent by U.S. President Joe Biden, which the White House said is intended to be a signal of its commitment to Taiwan's security.

Asked about the developments, the State Department official said the U.S. has "noted with concern" China's ongoing attempts to intimidate the region and urged it to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead seek meaningful dialogue.

In response to the threat, the U.S. "will continue deepening our unofficial security relationship to ensure Taiwan has sufficient capabilities to defend itself," the official said.

At the same time, the U.S. expects Beijing to honor its commitment to the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait differences and will continue working with its allies to advance "shared prosperity, security and values" in the region, the official said.

Meanwhile, a top U.S. Navy commander said that the U.S. will continue supporting Taiwan's self-defense in a way that reflects the scale of the threat it faces.

In a forum at the Raisina Dialogue -- an annual geopolitical conference in Delhi, India -- U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Philip Davidson said the U.S. wants cross-strait issues to be resolved "in a manner of scope and pace that is acceptable to both sides."

However, as China has expanded its global reach, it has also intensified efforts to "diplomatically isolate, economically constrain and militarily threaten Taiwan," he said.

The U.S., therefore, provides defensive arms to Taiwan to help it maintain a sufficient self-defense capability, "and we do so in a manner commensurate with the threat that Beijing presents," Davidson said.

Aside from providing defensive arms, U.S. security engagement with Taiwan also focuses on improving the interoperability in Taiwan's military, improving training and readiness, and supporting its military's professional development, he added.

Interoperability refers to the ability of different branches of the military or several forces within a coalition to operate effectively together.

(By Stacy Hsu, Charles Kang and Matthew Mazzetta)

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