Citing anonymous sources, the Financial Times claimed on Saturday that while a US delegation travels to Taiwan, a Taipei delegation was reportedly set to arrive in Washington over the weekend to take part in “secret talks” with White House officials.
Citing five people familiar with the secret talks – known as the “special channel” – the outlet said that the Taiwanese delegation – which will be hosted by US Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer as well as Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman – will reportedly be led by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and National Security Adviser Wellington Koo.
The Asian island’s foreign minister and national security adviser will reportedly be part of a special diplomatic dialogue intended to remain private so as to avoid provoking a reaction from China, which considers the self-governing island part of its territory.
Amid Beijing’s increasingly “assertive” stance around Taiwan, the longstanding diplomatic channel – the existence of which has not been officially confirmed or denied by either US or Taiwanese officials – is being used to address security issues at a tense time in US-China ties.
After the US military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over North America for eight days, the situation has become even more turbulent.
The existence of the format was first reported by the Financial Times two years ago.
Despite heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, Washington has meanwhile sent several delegations to Taiwan.
Although neither Washington nor Taipei have officially confirmed the trip, Pentagon’s top China official, Michael Chase, was to meet with counterparts in the Taiwanese government after arriving there on Saturday.
California Representative Ro Khanna’s office also announced that in his effort to bolster ties between Silicon Valley and the Taiwanese semiconductor industry, a congressional delegation led by Khanna was planning a trip to Taiwan over the weekend.