Taiwan and US start trade talks

1st round of talks between the countries should take place in September; China says it opposes any negotiations with the island

The US released on Wednesday (17.Aug.2022) a trade negotiation plan with Taiwan to close “agreements with high standard commitments and economically significant results” with the island government. The lawsuit comes after tensions with China increased over island-related issues.

The US-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative was announced on June 1. It defines established objectives for the construction of a commercial relationship between the countries. Trading is expected to begin in September, early autumn.

“We have initiated negotiations with Taiwan under the auspices of AIT and TECRO that will deepen our trade and investment relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses.” Sarah Bianchi, deputy US trade representative, said in a statement.

The trade plan includes agreements on trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, anti-corruption standards, improving trade between small and medium-sized enterprises, deepening agricultural trade, and eliminating barriers to trade, digital trade, robust labor and environmental standards. Here is the full document (122KB – in English).

In response, the Chinese foreign ministry said the agreement violates China’s one-government principle and sends “wrong signals” to Taiwanese separatist groups.

The country also advised the US to “do not misjudge” any measure “firm” socket for “defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“China always opposes any country to negotiate and sign any economic and commercial agreement of a sovereign connotation and of an official nature with the Taiwan region of China”Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Thursday (18.Aug.2022).

“We demand that the US side strictly abide by the one-China principle and the 3 Sino-US joint communiqués with concrete actions and stop any form of official exchanges with Taiwan and refrain from negotiating and signing agreements with the region,” concluded.

Taiwan

The Taiwan issue is one of the most sensitive issues in the People’s Republic of China. The island has been independently governed since the end of a civil war in 1949.

China, however, considers Taiwan as part of its territory, in the form of a splinter province. If it tries to gain independence, it must be stopped by force, in the Chinese interpretation.

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