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Taiwan vows to deepen ties with US amid tensions with China

Taiwan will boost military exchanges with the United States to curb “authoritarian expansionism”, President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday after meeting with visiting US lawmakers.

The five-day US Congressional visit comes after a top US defense official reportedly made a rare and highly secretive stopover to the self-ruled island as Washington-Beijing tensions flared over alleged Chinese spy balloons.

“Taiwan and the United States continue to bolster military exchanges,” Tsai said after convening with the US delegation at her office in Taipei.

“Going forward, Taiwan will cooperate even more actively with the United States and other democratic partners to confront such global challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change.”

Tsai did not provide further details on what the future exchanges might entail.

Washington diplomatically recognises Beijing over Taipei, but is the self-governing island’s most important international benefactor and supports Taiwan’s right to decide its own future.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to seize it one day, opposes any official exchanges with the democracy and has reacted with anger to a flurry of trips to the island by US politicians in recent years.

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