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Ukraine conflict: US-Taiwan meet to warn off ‘rising Chinese threat'

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen met with a senior bipartisan delegation sent by US President Joe Biden on 2 March, with the objective of demonstrating bilateral strength against growing Chinese assertiveness.

Tsai said the meetings in Taipei reflected “rock-solid” US-Taiwan ties at a time when China's military threat to the island “continues to rise” and when the “international community is firmly focused on the situation in Ukraine”.

Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who led the US delegation, said the visit was spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and an associated US requirement to “stand firm” in its commitment to supporting the security of Taiwan.

In comments published by Taiwan's presidential office, Tsai said, “The crisis in Ukraine has shown the world that co-operation and co-ordinated action among democratic countries is crucial. Facing threats to the security of the Taiwan Strait and the region, we look forward to working even more closely with the US and other stakeholders in the region.”

Mullen said, “The United States will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo and will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues… The United States stands firm behind its commitments.”

In response to the US-Taiwan meetings, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Beijing urged the US to cease official interactions with Taiwan, which China regards as a province.

“The attempt by the US to show support to Taiwan will be in vain, no matter who the US sends,” said the spokesperson. “China urges the US to stop all forms of official interactions with Taiwan … lest it should further undermine the larger interests of China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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