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US sending highest official to Taiwan since ties cut in 1979

5/8/2020 18:32
        The U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services is scheduled to visit Taiwan in coming days in the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official since the break in formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in 1979.
        
        The visit by Alex Azar, and especially a planned meeting with Taiwan's president, will likely create new friction between the U.S. and China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Taiwan is a key irritant in the troubled relationship between the world's two largest economies, which are also at odds over trade, technology, territorial claims in the South China Sea and China's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
        
        In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China has lodged "solemn complaints" over the visit with U.S. officials in both Beijing and Washington.
        



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