Taipei: The vice presidents of Taiwan and the United States had a brief exchange at the inauguration of Honduras’ new leader, the island’s state media reported Friday, a first encounter that will likely stoke US-China tensions. China considers Taiwan a part of its territory, to be retaken by force if necessary, and says its status is one of the most sensitive issues in Beijing’s dealings with Washington. US President Joe Biden has largely kept the tough approach to Beijing of his predecessor Donald Trump, with both administrations seeing a rising China as the top challenge of the 21st century. William Lai and Kamala Harris shared “a simple greeting” in which both “spoke briefly” during Thursday’s ceremony to swear in Honduran president Xiomara Castro, Taiwan’s Central News Agency said. Their conversation was the first public interaction between the US and Taiwanese vice presidents since Washington recognized diplomatic ties with the island in 1979, according to Fan Shih-ping, a political analyst at Taiwan’s National Normal University.