Taiwan's Legislative Speaker Advocates Stronger U.S. Ties Amid Growing Chinese Tensions

Taiwan's Legislative Speaker Advocates Stronger U.S. Ties Amid Growing Chinese Tensions
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun

Lede: Taiwan's Legislative Speaker, You Si-kun, recently visited the U.S. Capitol, meeting with members of the House Committee on Competition with China, to discuss the potential for deepening economic and security ties.

What we know:

  • Si-kun, Taiwan’s top legislative official, focused on the importance of U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relations during his visit.
  • The meeting emphasized not only economic exchanges but also the necessity for security cooperation to counter potential aggression from the Chinese Communist Party.
  • This strategic dialogue comes as the Biden administration is poised to expedite a $500 million weapons package for Taiwan, reinforcing its commitment to the island nation.
  • In light of the discussions, the U.S. is said to be planning to fast-track the supply of weapons and support equipment to Taiwan.

The Background: The visit was particularly significant considering the tense atmosphere between Taiwan and China, with the latter claiming sovereignty over the island nation. The U.S. has been a longstanding ally of Taiwan and has often been at odds with China over its support for Taiwan. The meeting followed recent talks between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Chinese counterpart in Vienna, signaling a possible easing of strains. However, previous visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials have been met with protests from China. The Biden administration is looking to execute its weapons package for Taiwan through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, a mechanism previously used to arm Ukraine.

Likely Outcomes:

  • The U.S. may accelerate the delivery of its proposed $500 million weapons package to Taiwan, strengthening its military capability.
  • This meeting might spark renewed tensions between the U.S. and China, especially if the weapon deal goes ahead.
  • The strengthened U.S.-Taiwan relations could boost Taiwan's international standing and might encourage other countries to deepen their ties with Taiwan.


  • "The United States needs to deliver on our promises and clear the $19 billion weapons backlog to Taiwan, conduct enhanced joint military training, and reinforce our military posture throughout the region." – Representative Mike Gallagher, the chair of the House Committee on Competition with China.
  • "Sometimes they [China] say they are a democratic country, but in a democratic country, congressional exchanges are very normal. Their reaction, on the contrary, proves that they are not a democratic country." – You Si-kun in February on China's reaction to prior exchanges between U.S. and Taiwan officials.
  • "Deterring war is the only path to peace and stability, and it is incumbent upon elected officials to take decisive action to do so before it’s too late." – Representative Mike Gallagher.

Good Reads:

Taiwan legislative speaker meets with US House committee on China (Taiwan News)

Top Taiwanese Lawmaker Visits US Capitol to Meet China Hard-Liners (Bloomberg)