Taiwanese Vice President William Lai said Wednesday that U.S.-Taiwan relations are “unprecedentedly good” as he stopped in San Francisco on the final leg of a trip condemned by China.
Lai told supporters at an event that he wants to make Taiwan into Asia’s Silicon Valley as he touted Taiwan’s role in the global technology supply chain.
Laura Rosenberger, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, a U.S. government-run nonprofit that handles unofficial relations, highlighted the Biden administration’s support for boosting Taiwan’s engagement with like-minded allies.
“Taiwan is a crucial partner in U.S. efforts to maintain global peace and stability, including in the Taiwan Strait,” Rosenberger said.
Lai’s trip included a stopover in New York on his way to Paraguay before going to San Francisco on his return trip to Taiwan.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, objected to Lai’s U.S. stops, calling him a “troublemaker” and saying China would take “resolute and forceful measures to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In San Francisco, supporters and protesters gathered outside of Lai’s hotel.
“I learned from [the] newspaper that some Chinese groups would come to protest, so I and other young Taiwanese come to protect our fellow compatriots,” Cooper Wang, a Taiwanese man working in the United States told VOA.
Among those protesting Lai’s stopover, a Chinese woman who only gave her last name, Ms. Liu, told VOA: “I come here to convey that Taiwan is part of China. For me, any idea of Taiwan independence is not advisable.”
VOA Mandarin service reporters Yi-hua Lee, Ning Lu and Mo Yu in San Francisco contributed to this story. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.