Updated Aug 22, 2022 - World

Indiana governor is the latest U.S. official to visit Taiwan

Eric Holcomb, governor of Indiana, speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Biden,  in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana speaking in Washington in March. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) arrived in Taiwan Sunday as part of a U.S. delegation on a four-day trade trip, officials in Taipei announced.

The big picture: A U.S. congressional trip to Taiwan led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) last week further angered China's government, which earlier this month conducted military drills near the self-governing island to protest House Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei.

Indiana's governor Eric Holcomb (R) gives the thumbs up next to a Taiwan official in Taipei.
Screenshot of Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs's Twitter feed.

Driving the news: Holcomb noted in a statement that the "economic development trip" follows "two recent semiconductor industry announcements in Indiana, including Taiwan-based MediaTek, as well as the recent signing of the federal CHIPS Act, placing a focus on strengthening Indiana's technology microelectronics ecosystem."

  • The delegation, which includes the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state's commerce secretary and Purdue University officials, will also focus on strengthening the state's economic and academic partnerships, reinforcing the state's commitment to innovation, according to Holcomb.

Holcomb met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday, where Tsai spoke of Taiwan's willingness to work with the U.S. and other allies to ensure supplies of semiconductors, which she called "democracy chips," Reuters reported.

  • "Economic security is an important pillar of national and regional security," Tsai said during their meeting. "Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen cooperation with democratic partners in building sustainable supply chains for democracy chips."
  • Holcomb is slated to meet with representatives of Taiwanese semiconductor companies during his visit, per Reuters.

Of note: Qin Gang, China's ambassador to the U.S., said last week Beijing would view further U.S. official travel to Taiwan, arms sales or naval activity near Taipei as provocations that would further destabilize relations and prevent progress on other issues.

  • Beijing did not immediately respond to the latest visit to Taiwan by a U.S. delegation.
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