In early July, two US aircraft quietly touched down on Taiwan carrying parcels for the de facto US embassy in Taipei. Beijing denounced the actions and others like them as “salami-slicing” tactics not worthy of starting a war over individually, but cumulatively becoming more strategically decisive.
A US senator has revealed that she and two other US lawmakers had to deceive the South Korean government in order to make their highly provocative flight into Taipei in June, which was the first time in four decades a US military aircraft touched down on Taiwan for official business.
On June 6, a lone US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo transport touched down at Songshan Airport in central Taipei carrying US Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). During their brief stay on the island, the trio announced the US was donating 750,000 of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines to the Taiwanese government.
Each government requires countries they have diplomatic relations with to reject the other government’s claims of legitimacy. The US switched its recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1978, while South Korea switched in 1992.
As a result, Duckworth told attendees of an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank on Tuesday that she and her fellow lawmakers had to sneak into Taiwan from South Korea.
“So, we had to drive two hours to get to a military base, get on a military flight, go to Taiwan. We’re on the…