The White House is expected to hold closed-door talks in Washington next week with Taiwan’s foreign minister and national security adviser as part of a private meeting to avoid reactions from China’s political leaders.
Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu and national security adviser Wellington Koo are the leaders of the delegation, the Financial Times reported.
The Taiwanese team will arrive over the weekend and meet next week with U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, sources told the newspaper.
The move comes amid growing tensions in the relationship between the U.S. and China following a Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by U.S. military off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month. The issue led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone his trip to Beijing, where he planned to meet with President Xi Jinping.
The reports of Taiwan leaders meeting in Washington also come after top Pentagon China official Michael Chase traveled to Taiwan, as reported by Reuters. China has long opposed American officials visiting the island nation.
Last year, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) flew to Taiwan to express American support for the democratic island. China condemned the visit, holding a military exercise that included firing missiles over Taiwan.
In addition to the reported meeting in Washington, an American delegation of lawmakers met with Taiwan’s president Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press.
“Taiwan and the U.S. (will) continue to bolster military exchanges. Going forward, Taiwan will cooperate even more actively with the U.S. and other democratic partners to confront such bold challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said.
The U.S. delegation included Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) and Jonathan Jackson (D-IL).
“We are here to affirm the shared values between the U.S. and Taiwan — a commitment to democracy, a commitment to freedom,” Khanna said during the visit. “The U.S. under President Biden’s leadership seeks peace in the region.”