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International relations

Tsai's New York detour shows US-Taiwan ties at tightest in years

Precedent-breaking 'transits' set stage for possible visit to Washington

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks to media as she arrives for a VIP reception at the Hyatt hotel in New York, U.S. on Friday.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen flew out of New York on Saturday, after her highest-profile "transit" in the U.S. since taking office in 2016.

She met members of the Taiwanese diaspora, and spoke at Columbia University -- a rare honor for a visiting Taiwanese president. In her speech, she framed the existential threat that China poses to Taiwan as the front line of the global struggle between authoritarianism and democracy.

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