U.S. and Taiwanese officials on Wednesday discussed ways to expand Taipei's participation in U.N. and other international forums, the State Department said.

The meeting in Washington was organized by the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, it said. The United States and Taiwan have no official diplomatic ties and the two institutions serve as their de facto embassies.

They particularly discussed how best to secure the self-ruled democratic island's involvement in meetings of the World Health Organization's decision-making body and the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as its "meaningful" participation in non-U.N. multilateral frameworks, a statement issued by the department said.

All participants agreed that it is important to work closely with like-minded partners who "share our concerns regarding attempts to exclude Taiwan from the international community," it said in a veiled reference to China.

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought under its control, by force if necessary.

U.S. officials have said their support for Taiwan is in line with Washington's longtime "one-China policy," which recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China. But any matter related to Taiwan is politically delicate and very often a source of friction between Washington and Beijing.

Taiwan has been excluded from the World Health Assembly since 2017 because of opposition from China. Since the 2016 election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Beijing, which views her as a separatist, has been stepping up pressure on the island.

When representatives from the U.S. department met with their counterparts from Taiwan's Foreign Ministry, they underscored the world-class expertise Taiwan has in many areas of global challenges, such as health and food security, according to the statement.

The U.S. department did not disclose the names of those representatives.

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