New US official arrives in Taiwan amid high tensions with China
Governor of Indiana in the United States, Eric Holcomb, arrives in Taiwan after a US delegation and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, increasing tension in the region.
The governor of Indiana in the United States, Eric Holcomb, announced his arrival in Taiwan on Sunday.
"I landed in Taipei to kick off an economic development trip in Taiwan & South Korea," Holcomb tweeted, RIA Novosti reported.
He said it would be his second visit to South Korea in a professional capacity, adding that he was "proud to be the first governor to visit Taiwan since before the pandemic."
Tensions near Taiwan remain high because China opposes any direct foreign official contact with the island it considers to be its sovereign territory.
The visit of a US congressional delegation to Taiwan earlier this week was condemned by China's Ministry of Defense as a violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The delegation arrived in Taiwan two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's divisive visit to Taipei, which strained US-China relations significantly.
Beijing regards Taiwan as its sovereign territory and promises that it will eventually be reintegrated with the mainland under the "one country, two systems" model. Taiwan has been governed independently since breaking away from mainland China in 1949.
Although the US officially claims to support the One China Policy, it has long maintained unofficial relations with Taipei, including the supply of arms to the island.
Read next: Xi asked Biden to prevent Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, Biden refused
China carried out fresh military drills around Taiwan, Beijing said, days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the island, which escalated tensions between the two powers.
Pelosi's visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
In response to another visit to Taiwan, China announced new military maneuvers surrounding Taiwan, as a team of US politicians met with the island's leader only weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative trip.
The secret two-day visit came as Beijing launched warships, missiles, and fighter jets into the waters and skies surrounding Taiwan.