Jan 11, 2024 - World

Biden administration to send unofficial delegation to Taiwan after election

A supporter of the Kuomintang party waves a Taiwanese flag in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

A supporter of the Kuomintang party waves a Taiwanese flag in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will send an unofficial delegation including former senior officials to Taipei after this weekend's presidential election, senior administration officials said.

Why it matters: The visit will mark a show of support for Taiwan after months of intense pressure from China, which opposes Taiwan's self-governance, but is also likely to raise tensions with Beijing.

What they're saying: "We're focused on stability and status quo and talking via our normal channels of communication with both Beijing and Taipei," a senior administration official told reporters.

  • The official emphasized it is longstanding U.S. practice to send unofficial delegations including former senior officials to Taiwan and is consistent with the U.S.' one-China policy.
  • The visit is timed after the election to ensure that the U.S. does not appear to be endorsing any candidate or party, the official said.

Details: Three parties will vie for Taiwan’s presidency and control of the legislature on Saturday.

  • China's Taiwan Affairs Office on Thursday warned against voting for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's candidate William Lai, whom Beijing views as a "separatist."

The big picture: Democratic governments, including the U.S., view Taiwan as an increasingly important partner amid concerns about China's growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

  • Many countries have sent delegations of current and former officials to Taiwan since the country lifted pandemic-era border restrictions in 2022.

Go deeper: China looms large in Taiwan's presidential election

Go deeper