Taiwan seeks international support amid military tensions with China

<div data-draftjs-conductor-fragment="{"blocks":[{"key":"7lg0k","text":"UFC Vegas 33 live stream results, ‘Hall vs Strickland’ play-by-play updates, UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Strickland on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"8emk","text":"\nWatch UFC MMA Fight 2021 Live Stream Free Online ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":1,"length":48,"style":"BOLD"},{"offset":1,"length":48,"style":"UNDERLINE"}],"entityRanges":[{"offset":1,"length":48,"key":0}],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"3tnt7","text":"","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"eh079","text":"","type":"atomic","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"9diac","text":"","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"c6ge2","text":" ","type":"atomic","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":1,"key":1}],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"8g63j","text":"","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"887v0","text":"","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"62a7s","text":"UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Strickland Live Stream Tv Covarege ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":60,"style":"BOLD"},{"offset":0,"length":60,"style":"UNDERLINE"}],"entityRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":60,"key":2}],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"56b0v","text":"\nUltimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently put the finishing touches on the UFC Vegas 33 fight card, which takes place this Sat. night (July 31, 2021) from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, streaming LIVE on both ESPN and ESPN+. Main event duties fall to middleweight contenders Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland, who collide for a spot in the 185-pound title chase. Before that clash of styles gets underway, bantamweight grapplers Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya get their jits on for 135-pound bragging rights.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"7ll0l","text":"Main Event features Middleweights Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"3qpm1","text":"Main Card at 9 p.m. ET and Prelims at 6 p.m. ET","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"75spa","text":"To subscribe visit ESPNPlus.com/ufc","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"27hkb","text":"ESPN+ available on ESPN.com and ESPN App for mobile and connected TV devices  ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"2upo","text":"UFC Fight Night presented by Modelo: Hall vs. Strickland airs live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas this Saturday on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (English and Spanish) with prelims at 6 p.m. ET and the main card at 9 p.m. Live coverage includes UFC Live presented by DraftKings: Hall vs. Strickland on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2 providing fans with exclusive insights and views on the biggest stories heading into Fight Night. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"3t7t9","text":"The main event features middleweights, Uriah Hall and Sean “Tarzan” Strickland. The six-foot-tall Hall of Jamaica, who will be fighting on his 37th birthday, has a record of 18-9. He has won his last four bouts. Strickland, 6’1” and from Anaheim, California, is 23-3 and has also won his most recent four fights.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"3ab6b","text":"In the co-main event, bantamweights Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya will face off. Kang, a 33-year-old from South Korea, holds a 17-8 record. Yahya, 36 and from Brazil, is 27-10-1.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"cjf1v","text":"Calling the action will be play-by-play announcer Brendan Fitzgerald, alongside analysts and former fighters Michael Bisping and Paul Felder. Megan Olivi will handle reporting duties.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"fg1r5","text":"The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN+","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"ch17q","text":"The Ultimate Fighter 29 on ESPN+: The Return of The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega continues Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. The 29th season of the iconic reality series features UFC® featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 contender Brian Ortega coaching men’s bantamweights and middleweights for a coveted UFC contract. How to watch The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN+ and other MMA Stories. TUF 29 is presented by Toyo Tires.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"9ocud","text":"ESPN com","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"eebqc","text":"Our Real or Not: Will Uriah Hall become a title contender with a win on Saturday?","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"2esn9","text":"Thursday: Expert picks: Hall vs. Strickland","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"v7mb","text":"Friday: Viewers’ guide","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"9ohu9","text":"Social: @ESPNMMA Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"328p0","text":"Fans can sign-up for ESPN+ at any time at ESPN.com, ESPNPlus.com, or on the ESPN App.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"don1","text":"Programming (All times ET) \nFri., 7/30 5:30 p.m. UFC Live presented by DraftKings: Hall vs. Strickland ESPN2 \n6:05 p.m. UFC Fight Night Pre-Show: Hall vs. Strickland ESPN+ \nSat., 7/31 6 p.m. UFC Fight Night presented by Modelo: Hall vs. Strickland (Prelims) ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+ \n9 p.m. UFC Fight Night presented by Modelo: Hall vs. Strickland (Main Card) ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+ \n1 a.m.* UFC Fight Night Post Show: Hall vs. Strickland ESPN+","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[],"entityRanges":[],"data":{"textAlignment":"center"}},{"key":"83v6o","text":"* immediately following main 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China claims Taiwan as its own territory and opposes any international engagement with the island that suggest a separate status, such as WHO membership and meetings with foreign government officials.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stands next to French Senator Alain Richard during their meeting in Taipei, Taiwan on October 7, 2021. (Reuters)

Taiwan will ensure regional peace and stability and seeks to work with other like-minded democracies, President Tsai Ing-wen has told senior French and Australian dignitaries, days after a dramatic spike in tensions with China.

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The trips by four French senators and former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott come after four straight days, beginning last Friday, of massed Chinese air force incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone, moves met with concern by Washington and its allies.

Democratically ruled Taiwan has sought support from other democracies, especially the United States and it allies, amid the growing military and political pressure from China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory.

Speaking at the presidential office to the French senators, lead by former defence minister Alain Richard, Tsai thanked France for its concern about the situation in the Taiwan Strait and support for its international participation.

“We will continue to fulfil our responsibilities as members of the international community to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We also hope to make more contributions to the world along with France,” she added.

Richard discussed the “essential contribution of Taiwan in the important field of human progress” but did not mention the rising military tensions with China in remarks carried live on the presidential office’s Facebook page.

Tsai gave a similar message in later remarks to Abbott, who told her he was in Taiwan to help end its international isolation, praising its democracy and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Of course not everyone and not everywhere is pleased at Taiwan’s progress, and I do note that Taiwan is challenged on an almost daily basis by its giant neighbour,” Abbott said.

“Very moved” after French visit

The French senators arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, despite the strong objections of China which is always angered by visits of foreign officials.

Richard, head of the French Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group, was the country’s defence minister from 1997 to 2002 under President Jacques Chirac.

Tsai said Taiwan was “very moved” Richard decided to come, despite what she described as “pressure” – a reference to China.

In March, the Chinese embassy in Paris warned against lawmakers meeting Taiwanese officials, prompting a rebuff from the French foreign ministry, which said French senators are free to meet whomever they wish when they travel.

Tsai did not directly mention the recent Chinese air force activities in public comments at her meetings with the senators or Abbott.

Taipei denounces Beijing’s moves

Neither France nor Australia have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, like most countries.

Separately, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it would pay close attention to a planned summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the United States being Taiwan’s most important backer.

“We will continue to coordinate closely with the United States in Taipei and Washington to ensure that US policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged,” said ministry spokeswoman Joan ne Ou.

Taiwan’s government has denounced China’s moves against it, and says it will defend the island’s freedom and democracy, and that only Taiwan’s people can decide their future.

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