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Taiwan delegation welcomed to APEC Summit: AIT chairperson

In a rare move by a high-ranking member of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which serves as the de facto U.S. Embassy in the island, the United States has expressed its support for Taiwan’s delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco. 

Speaking at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner of the Taiwanese Association of America Greater Washington Chapter in Washington on Nov. 11, AIT Chairperson Laura Rosenberger said the U.S. encourages and supports Taiwan’s “meaningful” participation in international organizations. 

Rosenberger also said her focus is on opportunities for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan, while stressing that the U.S.-Taiwan partnership has expanded and deepened significantly in recent years under the Taiwan Relations Act, particularly in economic security and civil relations, as well as in expanding Taiwan’s role in the international arena.

She mentioned the tremendous growth in economic ties, particularly the two-way U.S.-Taiwan investment that has created a resilient high-tech ecosystem between both sides, and in turn, a resilient global supply chain. 

Rosenberger added that the U.S. continues to support Taiwan’s efforts to enhance its self-defense capabilities, increase resilience, and strengthen deterrence, which helps maintain cross-Strait peace and stability. 

The Biden administration is using the full range of congressionally mandated tools, such as presidential appropriations authority and foreign military financing, in an effort to ensure that Taiwan has adequate self-defense capabilities, said Rosenberger.

Commenting on Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election, Rosenberger noted that the U.S. has full confidence in the island’s democratic processes and free and fair elections. 

She stressed that Washington opposes any outside interference in Taiwan’s elections and looks forward to working with any elected leaders in Taiwan.

Rosenberger’s remarks came before the APEC summit, which runs from Nov. 11 – 17 in San Francisco, and will be the stage for a key encounter between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who have a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday. 

Although this meeting is not the central agenda of the summit, taking place on the sidelines, it has sparked speculation about the topics of discussion between the two leaders.

China’s ambassador to Washington, Xie Feng, said on Nov. 9, that the U.S. “should avoid playing with fire or crossing the line” on “sensitive” issues like Taiwan, and warned U.S. leaders that “a good host needs to avoid creating any new trouble or obstacle.”

Translated by RFA Staff. Edited by Elaine Chan and Mike Firn.