President of Taiwan says she has “faith” that the US will defend the island

The president of Taiwan said she had "faith" in which the United States will defend the island against China, in a context of growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the role of Taipei on the international scene.

"I have faith" that US forces will help defend Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen said in an English-language interview with CNN on Tuesday and aired on Wednesday.

The president also highlighted the "extensive cooperation with the United States to increase (its) defense capabilities", announcing for the first time that the US military is training Taiwanese forces on the island.

The United States and China have clashed in recent days over the fate of the island of 23 million inhabitants, which has its own government, currency and army, but which Beijing considers one of its provinces waiting to be reunited with the rest of the world. country.

Earlier on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden noted that the United States was "deeply concerned by China’s coercive and aggressive actions in the Taiwan Strait".

Tensions have risen as Chinese air raids have increased near this country.

Such actions "threaten regional peace and stability"added the US president, according to a recording of his statements obtained by AFP.

Strategic ambiguity

The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, also provoked the ire of Beijing by advocating on Tuesday for the "meaningful participation" of Taipei in the organs of the United Nations (UN) and on the international scene.

"The exclusion of Taiwan undermines the important work of the UN and its agencies", he insisted, stating that the contribution of that country is necessary to address "an unprecedented number of global challenges".

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But "Taiwan has no right to participate in the UN"Beijing immediately replied, through the spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang.

The sensitive Taiwan issue is likely to further fracture relations between the United States and China, which are at their lowest point in years. Last week, Biden seemed to want to send a new message of assertiveness to Beijing.

Asked about the possibility of a US military intervention to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack from China, President Biden answered affirmatively: "Yes, we have a commitment in that sense".

His statement seemed to contradict the position of "strategic ambiguity" U.S. Under this scheme, Washington helps Taiwan to build and strengthen its defense, but without explicitly promising that it will come to its aid in case of attack.

Biden’s comments were not well received in Beijing and the US government clarified shortly after that it maintained "without changes" its policy framed in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

China considers Taiwan, the island to which Chang Kai-shek’s nationalists defeated on the mainland by Mao Tse Tung’s communists fled in 1949, to be a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

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