US diplomat says bid to decide Taiwan's future by non-peaceful means a 'grave concern'

Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Taipei, but is Taiwan's main arms supplier and strongest international backer.
Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Taipei, but is Taiwan's main arms supplier and strongest international backer.PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - A bid to determine the future of self-ruled Taiwan by "other than peaceful means" is a grave concern to the United States, a senior American diplomat said on Wednesday (Oct 31), amid the island's renewed tension with China, which claims it as its own.

Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Taipei, but is Taiwan's main arms supplier and strongest international backer.

"Any effort to determine Taiwan's future by other than peaceful means is of grave concern to the United States," Mr Brent Christensen, director of the US' de facto embassy in Taipei, told reporters.

The US would continue to support Taiwan in playing a "substantive role" in the international community, he added.

China has been infuriated by recent US sanctions on its military, among several flashpoints in ties that include a bitter trade war, the issue of Taiwan, and China's increasingly muscular military posture in the busy waterway of the South China Sea.