Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said today, Saturday, that the island is facing "continuous authoritarian expansion", at a time when she meets a delegation from the US House of Representatives in Taipei, in conjunction with China's announcement of the start of military exercises that will last for 3 days.
The President of Taiwan confirmed that the island will continue to work with the United States and other "like-minded countries to jointly defend" the values of freedom and democracy, as described.
The US delegation – which is visiting Taiwan in light of escalating tensions with China – is headed by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, Michael McCaul.
During the meeting, McCall affirmed his country's readiness to provide support to the island, saying, "We are here in Taiwan to provide our strong support for it."
On the other hand, the President of Taiwan said that Taipei is looking forward to further strengthening security cooperation with the United States.
The Chinese army announced today, Saturday, the start of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, after a meeting in the United States of President Tsai Ing-wen with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy last Wednesday, which angered Beijing.
The military added that the exercises are a "serious warning to Taiwanese separatists" because of their "collusion with external forces," describing the exercises as necessary to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense announced that 8 warships and 42 Chinese combat aircraft were spotted around the island, with China announcing the start of the exercises.
China considers the island of Taiwan – which has a population of 23 million – an integral part of its territory, and does not exclude its restoration by force if necessary.