Austin noted that the US had provided millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the height of the pandemic and is regularly involved in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance efforts in the region. He said it is working to combat climate change, illegal fishing and ensure that supply chains do not suffer disruptions ticking off many issues of importance to Asian-Pacific nations.
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Austin assured that the US remained "deeply committed" to the longstanding one-China policy, which recognizes Beijing as the government of China but allows informal relations with Taiwan, and continues to "categorically oppose unilateral changes to the status quo from either side."
He added that Russia's invasion of Ukraine had served to underline how dangerous the world would be if big countries were able to "just invade their peaceful neighbors with impunity."
"Conflict is neither imminent nor inevitable," Austin said. "Deterrence is strong today and it's our job to keep it that way. The whole world has a stake in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)