Taiwan on Saturday welcomed a joint statement issued by Japan and the United States affirming the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the Taiwan government is happy to see the United States and Japan are concerned about the current state of security in the Indo-Pacific region.

"The Taiwan government would like to express our most sincere welcome and gratitude," Ou said.

"We will continue to work closely with Japan, the United States and other like-minded countries to safeguard democracy, universal values and a rules-based international order to ensure peace, prosperity and stability in the region," she said.

On Friday, in their first in-person meeting at the White House, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden said in their joint statement that they "underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait" and "encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues," marking the first time that Taiwan has been mentioned in a U.S.-Japan leaders' statement since 1969.

Ou said because of its strategic position in the first island chain, stretching from the Japanese archipelago through Taiwan, the Philippines and on to Borneo, Taiwan plays a key role in regional stability and prosperity.

Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said the Taiwan government welcomed the joint statement, commending the move as conducive to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

"We look forward to seeing Beijing authorities act responsibly and make a positive contribution to peace and well-being across the Taiwan Strait and the region," he said.

Chang emphasized that President Tsai Ing-wen's cross-strait policy has been consistent in maintaining that Taiwan will not succumb to pressure exerted by China, nor will it act rashly.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing has since regarded Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

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