Taipei, Jan 15 (EFE).- Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen received Monday a delegation of former United States officials visiting the island after Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections, state news agency CNA reported.
The president, who will leave office on May 20 after completing two consecutive terms, met with former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former State Undersecretary James Steinberg at the presidential palace from Taipei.
According to information from CNA, Tsai said Hadley and Steinberg’s visit is of “great significance” for the island, since it demonstrates the “close relationship” that exists between Washington and Taipei.
The former national security advisor also gave a speech in which he reiterated the US’ support for the island.
Steinberg said this trip reaffirms the friendship between the US and Taiwan, adding that Tsai’s leadership has played a very important role in “maintaining regional peace and stability.”
Previously, the elected president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party William Lai, or Lai Ching-te, published a message on social media to welcome the delegation, saying he appreciated Washington’s support and was looking forward to working together.
The issue surrounding Taiwan remains one of the main points of friction between China and the US, which, apart from being Taiwan’s main weapons supplier, could have to defend the island in the event of conflict.
Lai won with 40 percent of the votes in the elections, and in his first speech after the win on Saturday said Taiwan remained “on the side of democracy.”
Taiwan – where the Chinese nationalist army withdrew after defeat by communist troops in the civil war – has been governed autonomously since 1949, although China claims sovereignty over the island, which it considers a rebellious province. EFE