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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - US President Joe Biden speaks to the press, as he visits Allentown Fire Training Academy, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, US, January 12, 2024. — Reuters pic
WASHINGTON, Jan 13 — US President Joe Biden said today 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 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 reaction to today’s elections.
Hours ahead of the polls opening, Washington had warned “it would be unacceptable” for “any” country to interfere in the election.
Taiwan, a neighbouring island China claims as its own, has been a democratic success story since holding its first direct presidential election in 1996, the culmination of decades of struggle against authoritarian rule and martial law.
The United States is Taiwan’s most important international backer and arms supplier despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties with the island.
The Biden administration has feared that the election, transition and new administration would escalate conflict with Beijing. — Reuters
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