Ex-British PM Truss calls for stronger economic ties with Taiwan

At a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss called on democratic countries to bolster economic and other ties with Taiwan.

Truss met Tsai at the presidential office in Taipei. She is the first former British prime minister to visit Taiwan in 27 years.

Truss said the world is "facing an increasing struggle between democracies and autocracies," and that it is very clear that "free democracies provide the best way for society."

She added, "International free democracies must support you in your endeavors."

Tsai thanked Truss for having stressed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait at G7 and NATO meetings when she was the British foreign minister, elevating the issue from a regional to a global matter.

Tsai expressed hope for deepening ties with Britain, including the possible signing of a trade deal.

Truss is known for her hardline stance toward Beijing.

In a speech she gave on Wednesday in Taipei, she warned of a growing threat from China and urged European countries to step up their involvement in Taiwan. China reacted sharply to her remarks.