US delegation to attend Taiwan inauguration as China tensions flare


Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 and has long said it does not support a formal declaration of independence by Taiwan. It does, however, maintain unofficial relations with the island and remains its most important backer and arms supplier.

Over the past four years, China’s military has significantly ramped up its activities around democratically governed Taiwan.

Biden has previously upset the Chinese government with comments that appeared to suggest the United States would defend the island if it were attacked, a deviation from a long-held US position of “strategic ambiguity”.

The US and Taiwan navies quietly conducted joint drills in the Pacific in April, Reuters has reported.

Biden, a Democrat, imposed new trade tariffs on a range of Chinese sectors on Tuesday, while Taiwan reported Chinese forces were carrying out their latest “combat patrol” near the island that same day.

Biden has sent three similar delegations to Taiwan, most recently in January after the election, and groups of former US officials to inaugurations in 2008, 2012 and 2016 during the administrations of former Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama.

Beijing has denounced the visits, and it cut communications with Washington on military and climate matters after a 2022 trip to Taiwan by then House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Those talks were recently restored.



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