Michael Chase, a Pentagon official in charge of relations with China, arrived in Taiwan amid tensions between Washington and Beijing over a Chinese balloon.
It was previously reported that Chase would visit Taiwan in the coming days.
Chase became the first senior U.S. defense official to visit Taiwan since 2019, when Heino Klink, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, arrived on the island. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, commenting on reports of a possible imminent visit to Taiwan by a Pentagon official, said the United States should abide by the “one China” principle and stop all forms of official exchanges and military ties with Taiwan.
The visit will take place against the backdrop of a new aggravation of relations between Washington and Beijing due to a Chinese balloon that crossed the United States and was intercepted over the Atlantic. In Washington they say that the balloon was launched for the purpose of espionage, in Beijing they say that we are talking about a lost civilian weather balloon.
The situation around Taiwan escalated significantly after a visit to the island in early August last year by then Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. China, which considers the island one of its provinces, condemned Pelosi’s visit, seeing in this move US support for Taiwanese separatism, and held large-scale military exercises.