US affirms ‘Taiwan’s freedom and independence’ despite China’s sovereignty claims

A senior State Department official voiced support for “Taiwan’s freedom and independence” in an unusually emphatic sign of disregard for Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over the island democracy.

“It seems to me preserving Taiwan’s freedom and independence is a priority,” State Department director of policy planning Peter Berkowitz said Wednesday.

That statement comes at a time of widespread concern that Chinese Communist forces will attack Taiwan, fears linked in part to uncertainty about whether the United States would intervene. Berkowitz stopped short of an explicit defense pledge, but his comments likely will anger a Chinese Communist regime that routinely pressures countries not to recognize Taiwan
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