US to hold trade talks with Taiwan in new show of support | Technology
By JOE McDONALD – AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. government plans talks with Taiwan on a far-reaching trade treaty in a show of support for the self-governing island democracy claimed by China’s ruling Communist Party as part of its territory.
Thursday’s announcement comes after Beijing held military drills that included firing missiles into the sea to intimidate Taiwan after a visit this month by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office made no mention of tension with Beijing, but said the “formal negotiations” were aimed at strengthening trade and regulatory cooperation, which would involve closer official interaction.
President Joe Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, Kurt Campbell, told reporters last week that trade talks would be part of efforts to “deepen our ties with Taiwan”, although he said the policy American did not change.
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Taiwan and China separated in 1949 after a civil war. The island was never part of the People’s Republic of China, but the Communist Party says it is obliged to unite politically with the mainland, by force if necessary.
The United States has no official relations with Taiwan but maintains close ties through its unofficial embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has said official contacts with Taiwan, such as Pelosi’s one-day visit on Aug. 2, could encourage the island to try to make its decade-old de facto independence permanent. stage which, according to Beijing, would lead to war.
Washington says it does not take a position on the status of China and Taiwan but wants their dispute to be settled peacefully. The US government is obligated by federal law to ensure that the island has the means to defend itself.
“We will continue to take calm and resolute action to maintain peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s continued efforts to undermine it and to support Taiwan,” Campbell said on a conference call last Friday.
A second group of US lawmakers led by Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. Beijing announced a second round of military exercises after their arrival.
Beijing did not react immediately to the announcement of trade negotiations.
The talks will also cover agriculture, labor, the environment, digital technology, the status of state-owned enterprises and “non-market policies”, the USTR said.
He gave no indication of which officials would be involved, but said the talks would be held under the auspices of the American Institute and Taiwan’s informal embassy, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to the United States. -United.
US-China relations are at their lowest level in decades amid disputes over security, technology, Beijing’s treatment of Muslim minorities and its crackdown in Hong Kong.
They are locked in a 3-year-old tariff war over disputes in many of the areas mentioned in Thursday’s announcement. They include China’s support for state-owned companies that dominate many of its industries and complaints that Beijing is stealing foreign technology and shackling foreign competitors in a range of areas in violation of its market-opening commitments.
Then-President Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods in 2019 in response to complaints that his technology development tactics violate his free trade commitments and threaten American industrial leadership. President Joe Biden left most of those tariff hikes in place.
Taiwan, with 24 million people, is the United States’ ninth largest trading partner and the United States’ 10th largest export market, according to the USTR. The State Department describes it as a “key partner of the United States in the Indo-Pacific”.
Taiwan is the world’s leading source of processor chips for smartphones, medical devices, automobiles and home appliances, as well as industrial components used by factories in China and other Asian countries.
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