In a further show of support for the self-governing island democracy claimed by China’s ruling Communist Party as part of its territory, the U.S. administration says it would hold discussions with Taiwan on a trade treaty.
BEIJING (AP) — As a show of support for the self-governing island democracy that China’s ruling Communist Party claims as part of its territory, the U.S. government wants to hold discussions with Taiwan on a comprehensive trade agreement.
Following the U.S. visit to Taiwan earlier this month, Beijing conducted military exercises that included launching missiles into the sea to frighten Taiwan. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative claimed the “formal negotiations” were intended to improve trade and regulatory cooperation, which would necessitate deeper official interaction, but made no mention of the hostility with Beijing.
Kurt Campbell, the Indo-Pacific coordinator for President Joe Biden, told reporters last week that efforts to “deepen our ties with Taiwan” will include trade talks, though he insisted that U.S. policy was not changing.
Following a civil war, Taiwan and China divided in 1949. The Communist Party claims that even though the island has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China, it must politically unify with the mainland, even if that means using force.
.Although there are no formal diplomatic links between the US and Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan serves as a substantial proxy for the US in Taiwan.
According to the Chinese government of President Xi Jinping, official interaction with Taiwan, like Pelosi’s one-day visit on August 2, could give the island the confidence to try to formally declare its de facto independence, which Beijing claims would spark a conflict.
Washington claims it has no opinion on the relationship between China and Taiwan but favors a peaceful resolution to their conflict. Federal law requires the U.S. government to ensure that the island has the tools necessary to defend itself.
Campbell stated in a conference call last Friday that “we will continue to take calm and strong steps to safeguard peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s continued efforts to undermine it, and to protect Taiwan.”
Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, led the second delegation of American senators that arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. Following their arrival, Beijing announced the second round of military exercises.
The announcement of the trade discussions received no immediate response from Beijing.
The position of state-owned firms, digital technology, agriculture, labor, the environment, and “non-market policies” will also be discussed, according to the USTR.
It said negotiations would take place under the auspices of the American Institute and Taiwan’s fictitious embassy in the US, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office. However, it did not specify which officials would be involved.
Due to disagreements over security, technology, Beijing’s treatment of the Muslim minority, and its crackdown in Hong Kong, U.S.-Chinese relations are at their lowest point in decades.
Due to disagreements in many of the areas cited in Thursday’s announcement, they have been embroiled in a 3-year-old tariff war. They include charges that Beijing steals foreign technology and restricts foreign rivals in a variety of fields in violation of its market-opening obligations, as well as China’s support for government businesses that dominate many of its industries.
In response to allegations that China’s technology development practices violate its free-trade agreements and endanger U.S. industrial leadership, then-President Donald Trump increased tariffs on Chinese imports in 2019. Most of the tariff increases have been kept in place by President Joe Biden.
According to the USTR, Taiwan, which has a population of 24 million, is the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States and the tenth-largest export destination. It is referred to as an “important U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific” by the State Department.
Taiwan is a major supplier of industrial components used by companies in China and other Asian nations, as well as processing chips for cell phones, medical equipment, automobiles, and home appliances.
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