US President Joe Biden has warned China is "flirting with danger" over Taiwan, and vowed to intervene militarily to protect the island if it is attacked.
Speaking in Japan, he appeared to contradict long-standing US policy in the region, although the White House insisted there had been no departure.
Mr Biden drew a parallel between Taiwan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, prompting an angry rebuke from Beijing.
He is on his first tour of Asia as US president, visiting regional allies.
Mr Biden prefaced his remarks saying US policy toward Taiwan "has not changed". But his comments in Tokyo are the second time in recent months he has unequivocally stated the US would defend Taiwan if China attacked, in what has been seen as a change in tone.
The US has previously been vague on what it would do in such a situation.
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