Taiwan and U.S. safety officers maintain uncommon assembly amid China pressure By –

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© -. FILE PHOTO: Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are positioned for a gathering between U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce speaks and with Su Chia-chyuan, President of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei

TAIPEI (-) – Senior nationwide safety officers from the United States and Taiwan have met to deepen cooperation, the federal government in Taipei stated, the primary such assembly in 4 many years that got here amid tense relations between the United States and China.

Taiwan’s nationwide safety chief David Lee met White House nationwide safety adviser John Bolton earlier this month, the island’s international affairs ministry stated in a press release on Saturday.

The official Central News Agency stated the assembly was the primary because the island and the United States ended formal diplomatic ties in 1979.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province, to be reclaimed by pressure if mandatory, and the assembly is more likely to anger Beijing additional with Sino-U.S. relations already tense.

The diplomatic temperature has risen in latest weeks amid an escalating commerce struggle, U.S. sanctions and China’s more and more muscular navy posture within the South China Sea, the place the United States additionally conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.

The uncommon assembly will likely be seen by Taiwan as an indication of assist from the Trump administration. Tensions have additionally risen between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the democratically dominated island a part of “one China”.

The assembly happened throughout Lee’s May 13-21 go to to the United States, Taiwan’s temporary assertion stated.

“During the journey, along with U.S. authorities officers, Secretary-General Lee met with representatives from our diplomatic allies, reiterating assist and dedication to a free and open Indo-Pacific area,” the assertion stated.

Taiwan’s international affairs ministry and America’s de facto embassy in Taiwan declined to touch upon Monday.

Beijing usually calls Taiwan essentially the most delicate and essential challenge in ties with the United States, which has no formal ties with Taiwan however is the island’s fundamental supply of arms.

The Unites States has in latest months elevated the frequency of patrols by the strategic Taiwan Strait regardless of opposition from China.

China has been ramping up navy and diplomatic strain to claim its sovereignty over the island, conducting drills close to Taiwan and snatching its few remaining diplomatic allies.

Earlier in May, the U.S. House of Representatives backed laws supporting Taiwan as members of the U.S. Congress pushed for a sharper method to relations with Beijing.

The Pentagon says Washington has bought Taipei greater than $15 billion in arms since 2010.

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