Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, met with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy on 6 April, cementing the relationship between the two sides. Despite threats of “unspecified retaliation from China”, Tsai and McCarthy both said that relations between the US and Taiwan were strong. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida faces an upper house by-election in Oita, southwestern Japan; as well as four lower house by-elections next Tuesday. On 7 April, the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi welcomed increased involvement from NATO member states in the Indo-Pacific region, as China becomes more assertive militarily. Such increased involvement includes technology for high-performing rare earth magnets, which China is considering banning the export of under a proposed revision to its export control measures, a ban that could fuel greater economic and geopolitical tensions.
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