Indiana's Republican governor met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen after two recent high-profile visits by US politicians that drew China's ire and its military drills.

Eric Holcomb landed in Taiwan on Sunday for an
Eric Holcomb landed in Taiwan on Sunday for an "economic development trip". (AFP)

Indiana's Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, has met Taiwan's president, days after Washington announced trade talks with Taipei. 

The meeting comes amid rising US-China tensions since Beijing staged huge military drills in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this month.

Holcomb landed in Taiwan on Sunday for an "economic development trip".

In her meeting with Holcomb on Monday, President Tsai Ing-wen directly referenced Beijing's drills and called for like-minded countries to continue supporting Taiwan.

"Taiwan has been confronted by military threats from China in and around the Taiwan Strait. At this moment democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas," she said.

Holcomb said the United States and Taiwan "share so many common values and interests and goals".

"We will continue to seek to build a strategic partnership with you," he said.

READ MORE: US says it doesn't support Taiwan's independence

Trade talks

Holcomb is also expected to meet representatives of Taiwan's world-leading semiconductor industry before leaving on Wednesday for South Korea.

Alongside South Korea, Taiwan makes some of the world's smallest and most advanced computer chips – a commodity that is vital for electronics but in short supply worldwide.

Holcomb's visit comes on the heels of the announcement of trade talks between Washington and Taipei in the coming months as a senior US diplomat warned Beijing will continue to put pressure on Taiwan.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. 

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent, a step US leaders say they don’t support. 

READ MORE: China sanctions Taiwanese 'independence diehard' officials

Source: AFP