US, China sparring over

 WASHINGTON: The United States and China are stepping up their war of words over Taiwan in a long-simmering dispute that has significant implications for the power dynamic in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.




Amid a surge in Chinese military activity near the island that China regards as a renegade province and has vowed to reclaim by force if necessary, Washington and Beijing have launched new campaigns for global support for their respective positions, each using the stern and lofty language of sovereignty and international precedent. And neither is backing down.
While the disagreement over Taiwan isn't new and has long vexed relations between the countries, recent developments suggest the two are coming closer to confrontation. Last week, President Joe Biden set off alarm bells in Beijing by saying the U.S. has a firm commitment to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of a Chinese attack.
While both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have been firm in their opposition to Chinese activities in Tibet, Hong Kong, China's western Xinjiang region and the South China Sea, the Taiwan issue pre-dates most of those irritants.
China has recently upped its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary by flying warplanes near the island and rehearsing beach landings.
China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949. The U.S. cut formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing. The US does not openly contest China's claim to Taiwan, but is committed by law to ensure the island can defend itself and to treat all threats toward it as matters of grave concern.

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