US does not support Taiwan independence, says President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden said on Saturday (Jan 13) that the United States does not support the independence of Taiwan, after Taiwanese voters rebuffed China and gave the ruling party a third presidential term.

Earlier in the day, the Taiwanese ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate William Lai Ching-te came to power, strongly rejecting Chinese pressure to spurn him, and pledged both to stand up to Beijing and seek talks.

“We do not support independence,” Biden said, when asked for a reaction to Saturday’s elections.

Hours ahead of the polls opening, Washington had warned “it would be unacceptable” for any country to interfere in the election.

The United States is Taiwan’s most important international backer and arms supplier, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties with the island.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Lai on his victory and said the United States “is committed to maintaining cross-strait peace and stability, and the peaceful resolution of differences, free from coercion and pressure”.

He said the US looks forward to working with Lai and leaders of all parties in Taiwan to advance their “longstanding unofficial relationship, consistent with the US’ One China policy”.

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