US warns of ‘stark’ stakes in Taiwan Strait if status quo unilaterally altered

Defence secretary says US does not support Taiwan independence, which China says would prompt it to take island back

The US has warned of “especially stark” stakes in the Taiwan Strait if the status quo was unilaterally altered, as China reiterated its resolve to take the island back if it declares independence.

Speaking at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore on Saturday, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington does not support Taiwan independence, and the Joe Biden administration “categorically” opposes any change of the status quo.

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