World: Russia's Lavrov accuses Washington of playing with fire around Taiwan

A new threat from China faces Taiwan's military: Trolls with drones

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 Taiwan © (photo credit: TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) Taiwan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of "playing with fire" around Taiwan on Saturday in a speech sharply critical of Washington at the annual gathering at the United Nations.

The United States was now trying to "subjugate" Asian areas, Lavrov said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, criticizing Washington's formation of "closed format" country groupings in the Indo-Pacific.

"They're playing with fire around Taiwan. On top of that, they're promising military support to Taiwan," Lavrov said.

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  Strong quake strikes eastern Taiwan, tsunami threat lifted A strong earthquake struck southeastern Taiwan, bringing at least one building down in a small town and tearing up roads as forecasters said the threat of a regional tsunami had passed. Japan's Meteorological Agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued tsunami advisories shortly after the quake, but both later sent updated bulletins saying there was no longer a threat of high waves. In the Taiwanese town of Yuli, a building that hosted a 7/11 convenience store on the ground floor collapsed.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan have soared after a visit there in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi which was followed by large-scale Chinese military drills, as well as a pledge by US President Joe Biden to defend the democratically governed island.

Where does Russia stand on rising tensions between China and Taiwan?

Putin explicitly backed China over Taiwan. "We intend to firmly adhere to the principle of 'One China'," Putin said last week. "We condemn provocations by the United States and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait."

Lavrov also accused Washington of trying to "turn the entire world into its own backyard" through sanctions. "It's pure, unadulterated dictatorship, or an attempt to impose it."

The United States and its Western allies have imposed a barrage of sanctions on Moscow following its February invasion of Ukraine.

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