Taiwan says is having 'good interactions' with Biden team


  • World
  • Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020

FILE PHOTO: A man 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. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has been having "good interactions" with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's team, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, as it seeks to cement ties with the incoming administration after getting strong support from President Donald Trump's government.

Claimed by China but democratically ruled, Taiwan enjoyed unprecedented backing from Republican Trump's administration, including stepped-up arms sales and visits by top officials to Taipei.

The election of Biden, a Democrat, has caused some unease in Taiwan, where Trump remains a popular figure amongst the public.

Still, Taiwan has sought to underscore its confidence in ties, noting bipartisan support for the island in Washington. This month, Taiwan's de facto ambassador in Washington spoke to longtime Biden confidant Antony Blinken, now tapped as the next secretary of state.

Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the island had good contacts with both the Democratic and Republican parties.

"The foreign ministry and our representative office in the United States have continued to maintain smooth communication and have good interactions with the Biden team via various appropriate means," she said.

"At the same time, we have also conveyed Taiwan's sincere gratitude to the current Trump administration. The current Taiwan-U.S. relationship is at its best in history. We sincerely thank you."

Taiwan will continue to play the role of a close and reliable partner to the United States, whether in regional or global issues, Ou added.

The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is its strongest backer on the international stage and major source of arms, to China's anger, becoming another major irritant in Sino-U.S. ties.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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