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Japan offers vaccines to Taiwan-friendly islands in the Pacific

Suga wary of Beijing pressuring nations to sever ties with Taipei

TOKYO -- Japan urged leaders from Pacific island nations to unite against authoritarianism in a summit Friday, promising coronavirus vaccine doses and economic assistance to a region increasingly critical to joint efforts with the U.S. to counter Chinese expansionism.

"The Pacific region faces new challenges, like competing with authoritarianism," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, or PALM. In addition to Japan, the online event drew 16 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, and two regions.

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