U.S. Strengthening Ties with Taiwan, Prompting China to Say U.S. Will Suffer 'Great Defeat'

After U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the United Nations to support Taiwan on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin promised to defeat anyone who challenges them as the "sole legitimate government" representing the whole of China, including Taiwan, the Associated Press reported.

"If anyone still tries to challenge the one-China principle and challenge UNGA Resolution 2758, they will only suffer an even greater defeat," Wang said.

Blinken's call for support was to assist Taiwan in its participation in international organizations related to health, climate change, culture, education and transportation. According to Sandra Oudkirk, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the U.S. is deeply committed to working with Taiwan in areas such as supply chains and cybersecurity.

"The value of our partnership and our support for Taiwan is rock solid. We are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan," Oudkirk said.

The U.S. continued support and partnership with Taiwan comes as tensions between Taiwan and China continue to rise, China stepping up its military harassment by flying fighter jets toward Taiwan, and has not ruled out force to reunify with Taiwan.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

China warns against assisting Taiwan
The U.S. is continuing to strengthen its relationship with Taiwan, even as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to rise. Above, Sandra Oudkirk, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, speaks during her first public news conference in Taipei on October 29, 2021. American Institute in Taiwan/Associated Press

The U.S. switched diplomatic recognition of China from the ruling Nationalist Party government in Taipei to the Communist Party in Beijing in 1979, but has continued to maintain a strong unofficial relationship with the self-ruled island.

Oudkirk declined to comment on any security initiatives or give any details about the presence of U.S. troops on the island, after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed Thursday that U.S. boots were indeed on the ground, though less than what people would think.

"We are going to continue to advance global and regional goals of the Biden administration, including countering malign PRC influence, recovering from the devastating impacts of the pandemic and addressing the threat of climate change," Oudkirk said, referring to the People's Republic of China, China's official name.

Washington has supported Taiwan with arms sales to boost the island's ability to defend itself, and also routinely navigates the waters around the island in what it calls freedom of operation movements.

Oudkirk, who became director over the summer, also reaffirmed that the U.S. will support Taiwan in its role on the international stage, without giving details.

A major new focus of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is on supply chains amid the global crunch on computer chips known as semiconductors.

Taiwan is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc., or TSMC, the biggest contract manufacturer of processor chips in the world. Those chips are used in everything from smartphones and medical equipment to gaming computers.

In recent weeks, local media reported that Taiwanese companies are concerned about a request for information from the U.S. Department of Commerce to chipmakers on potentially sensitive information such as their inventory, production and their top customers. TSMC, for example, serves clients in China as well as across the world.

"I have stressed that the Department of Commerce's recent request for information is just that, it is a request," Oudkirk said in response to those concerns, saying it is voluntary.