Former US Defence chief in Taiwan amid tensions with Beijing

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Taipei, July 23 (IANS) Former US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter arrived in Taiwan on Monday to address a security forum, the island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Ash Carter, who served as Defence secretary under Barack Obama from 2015-2017, is due to deliver a speech to the Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue on Tuesday, Efe quoted a MOFA statement as saying.

Carter’s visit coincides with increasing cross-strait tensions over the disputed Diaoyu islands to which both Beijing and Taipei (as well as Japan) stake a sovereignty claim.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised Carter’s visit, saying it showed the US’s strong support for the island nation.

During Carter’s tenure in the Pentagon, the US announced an arms deal with Taiwan worth $1.83 billion, which included the sale of two frigates, anti-tank missiles, amphibious assault vehicles and other military equipment.

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–IANS

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