Joe Biden to Send High-Level Delegation to Taiwan After Its Election That Might Anger China

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 11, 2024 04:38 AM EST

President Joe Biden is set to dispatch an unofficial delegation of former top officials to Taiwan following its presidential election this week, a move that could further strain the United States-China relations.

Five people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that the delegation will be led by James Steinberg, a former deputy secretary of state, and Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser.

According to CNN, it was not the first time that Biden sent an unofficial delegation of former senior officials to Taiwan. He has already sent two delegations of former top officials to Taipei earlier in his administration to reassure the Taiwanese government about US support in the face of Chinese pressure.

However, sending such a high-level delegation at this moment could spark anger from China since sending these former officials immediately after a presidential election is unusual.

President Biden Holds First Campaign Event In His Re-Election Bid
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BLUE BELL, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 5: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Montgomery County Community College January 5, 2024 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

China Opposes the Delegation That Joe Biden Will Send to Taiwan

China has expressed opposition to the delegation of former officials to Taiwan. The Chinese embassy in Washington told the Financial Times that China "firmly opposes the US having any form of official contact with the Taiwan region." 

The Chinese embassy urged the US to "stop sending wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces and refrain from interfering in elections in the Taiwan region in any form."

Joe Biden is not sending an official delegation of current officials to Taipei to avoid complicating things with China, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province.

Beijing has displayed fierce reactions to delegations of US lawmakers to Taiwan, including when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei two years ago.

READ ALSO: China Interfered in 2022 US Midterm Elections Because It Believed Joe Biden Wouldn't Retaliate, Intel Report Says   

Administration of Joe Biden Will Closely Watch the Presidential Election in Taiwan

The Biden administration will closely monitor the presidential election on the self-governing island that will be held on Saturday.

A senior administration official told CNN that the US remains "full confidence" in the democratic processes on the island and will uphold longstanding US policy toward Taiwan irrespective of the election results. 

The official further noted that Washington's delegation to Taiwan will convey the importance of US-Taiwan relations and restate the US' "One China" policy.

Joe Biden and other top US officials have reportedly maintained the importance of free and fair elections to their Chinese counterparts. 

READ MORE: US, China Risk a 'New Cold War' as Economic and Trade Conflicts Escalate, IMF Official Warns

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