Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) accompanied Taiwanese authorities in celebrating the country’s National Day on Oct. 10, strengthening U.S. support for this independent democratic nation that had been commemorating this day since 1911.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu was pleased with the Cruz’s visit and thanked him for his support for “freedom and democracy around the world” in a tweet.

“What a delight to have Senator @tedcruz visiting #Taiwan for our National Day. Senator, your support for freedom and democracy around the world, including #HongKong is admired. Your all-out support for Taiwan, a front-line state, is greatly appreciated by the people here. JW,” said the official.

The United States signed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), in 1979 “to help maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific and to promote the foreign policy of the United States by authorizing the continuation of commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, and for other purposes,” according to the American Institute in Taiwan website. And the United States provides Taiwan with weapons for self-defense.

China intends to submit Taiwan to the communist rule it applies on the mainland, through a system that has been discredited by the protests in Hong Kong, which have already gone on for at least four months.

Cruz said his country supports democracy in Taiwan and continues to “stand up against Chinese efforts to undermine Taiwan,” according to Taiwan News.

“The Chinese government is terrified by the idea of freedom, which is why Beijing continues to attempt to isolate Taiwan,” Cruz added.

Taiwan has its own democratic government, but China considers the island as its territory and has promised to seize it, by force if necessary.

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, as her government refuses to recognize that Taiwan is part of “one China.”

Tsai also pledged to help Hong Kongers facing legal proceedings for their participation in anti-government protests and who seek refuge in Taiwan, Stock News Press reported.