TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A delegation sent by U.S. President Joe Biden and led by former Senator Chris Dodd arrived in Taiwan Wednesday (April 14) for talks with senior government leaders amid threats from China.
The delegation, which also included former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, touched down at Taipei Songshan Airport just after 3 p.m. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen were among the officials who greeted them at the airport.
Only last week, the State Department announced new guidelines allowing American officials to meet more freely with their Taiwanese counterparts.
The group was scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and have dinner with her on Thursday (April 15), CNA reported. While the trip has been billed as “unofficial,” it is the highest-ranking U.S. delegation to visit Taiwan since President Biden took office.
The naming of a former senator seen as one of the president's good friends shows he is serious about backing Taiwan in the face of aggressive acts by China, analysts said. Chinese military aircraft have intruded into the country’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on an almost daily basis for months, and a senior U.S. military official has predicted a Chinese attack against Taiwan might occur within the next six years.