Beijing, Nov 9 (EFE).- Taiwan wants to create a global supply chain for semiconductors in cooperation with its “democratic allies,” President Tsai Ing-wen told visiting British Trade Minister Greg Hands Wednesday.
Tsai met Hands in Taipei as the British minister visited the disputed island in defiance of Chinese warnings.
Taiwan is “willing to use its competitive advantages in advanced semiconductor manufacturing to assist the world in optimizing semiconductor supply chain reconfiguration,” Tsai told Hands.
“Taiwan has advantages in leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” the president said, hoping to form a “global supply chain” in cooperation with “the UK and other democratic allies.”
“Through forward-looking technology, mutual investment and financial support, we will jointly build a more resilient global supply chain.”
Tsai took the opportunity to thank the British government for supporting the island and its “search for peace” in the Strait of Taiwan.
Hands will be on the island until Thursday to co-host the 25th edition of the Trade Talks between the sides.
The two sides conducted the annual talks, first held in 1991, virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic.
“I first visited Taiwan 31 years ago in 1991 and it’s been fantastic to see the growth of this dynamic, vibrant economy. I am thrilled to be the first Trade Minister here post-pandemic and to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of trade talks,” Hands said in a UK government statement.
“Boosting trade with this vital partner is part of the UK’s post-Brexit tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, and closer collaboration will help us future-proof our economy in the decades to come,” he said.
The visit is the latest in a series of such trips by officials from Western governments since United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August.
Since Pelosi’s controversial visit, delegations from France, Germany, Lithuania, and Japan have been to the island, ruffling many feathers in China.
The visit by Pelosi, second in line to the US presidency, angered China and triggered tensions between Washington and Beijing, which described the trip as a “farce” and “deplorable betrayal.”
China imposed sanctions on Pelosi, suspended dialog with the United States on several critical areas, and conducted military drills in the Taiwan Strait of unprecedented intensity in decades.
In his speech opening the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing in mid-October, President Xi Jinping mentioned “separatist activities seeking Taiwanese independence” and “gross provocations from abroad.”
“We will pursue peaceful reunification but we will never promise to give up the use of force as an option,” Xi said.
He vowed that “reunification will be achieved” in a statement that drew the biggest applause at the event.
The island’s Presidential Office reiterated that Taiwan is a “democratic and sovereign” country and stated that the Taiwanese “clearly reject the One country, two systems” model that Beijing would apply in the event of reunification.
China claims sovereignty over the island, which it considers a rebel province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists. EFE