Arizona governor latest US official to visit Taiwan

Arizona governor Doug Ducey will be the latest among a succession of US officials to visit Taiwan this month. PHOTO: GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY/FACEBOOK

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - The governor of Arizona was due to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday (Aug 30), the island’s foreign ministry said, the latest in a succession of officials from the United States to visit, defying pressure from China for such trips not to take place.

During his three-day visit, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and with companies in the semiconductor industry.

The world’s largest contract chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), is building a US$12 billion (S$17 billion) plant in the US state of Arizona.

Taiwan has hosted a succession of officials from the United States since a visit by a delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi early this month, which infuriated China.

Beijing responded to Pelosi’s Aug 2 visit with military drills close to the island that included launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, and by cutting some lines of dialogue with Washington.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, by force if necessary. Taiwan says it will defend its freedoms and democracy. 

Since Pelosi's visit, Democrat Senator Ed Markey, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, have also made high-profile trips to Taiwan.

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