CHINA HAS STEPPED UP PRESSURE AGAINST TAIWAN- US diplomat warns China’s moves could spark conflict¬†

China’s “provocative” actions around Taiwan, Japan and in the South China Sea run the risk of an accident that could unintentionally spark a broader conflict, Washington’s top diplomat in Taipei said on Friday (June 14).

Sandra Oudkirk, the outgoing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and de facto U.S. ambassador, told reporters that the United States was “profoundly devoted” to the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the broader region.

The United States is Taiwan’s most important international supporter and arms supplier, despite the lack of formal ties with the Chinese-claimed island.¬†

China has stepped up military and political pressure against Taiwan in the past four years. Last month, Beijing held war games around the island following the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, who won an election in January, a man China calls a “separatist”.

Oudkirk, who ends her three-year posting next month, said bolstering Taiwan’s ability to defend itself was AIT’s top priority. Taiwan has complained that arms orders it has with the United States have faced delayed deliveries.