US announces trade talks with Taiwan, China immediately shows anger – CBS News

Hualien, Taiwan — The US government will hold trade talks with Taiwan in a sign of support for the island’s democracy that China claims as its territory, prompting Beijing to warn on Thursday that it would take action if necessary to “protect its sovereignty.”

The announcement of the trade talks comes next Beijing launched missiles into the sea To intimidate Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy This month, Pelosi became the most senior US official to visit Island in 25 years.

The government of Chinese President Xi Jinping has criticized the planned talks as a violation of its position that Taiwan has no right to foreign relations. Washington has warned against encouraging the island to try to make its de facto independence permanent, a move Beijing says would lead to war.

“China firmly opposes this,” said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Xu Jueting. Washington called for “full respect for China’s core interests.”

Also Thursday, the Taiwanese military conducted a simulated missile and artillery maneuver in response to a Chinese missile attack.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war and have no formal relations but are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment. The island has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, but the ruling Communist Party says it is obligated to unite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

President Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, Kurt Campbell, said last week that trade talks would “deepen our relationship with Taiwan” but stressed that policy does not change. The United States has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, its ninth largest trading partner, but it maintains extensive informal relations.

Japan-US conflict and diplomacy
President Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, Kurt Campbell, in January 2013

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images


The US Trade Representative’s announcement of the talks did not mention tension with Beijing but said “formal negotiations” would advance trade and regulatory ties, a move that would necessitate closer formal interaction.

“It is expected that the first round of negotiations will be held early next fall,” the announcement said.

Allowing Taiwan to export more to the United States may help weaken China’s efforts to use its status as the island’s largest trading partner as political leverage. The mainland banned the import of Taiwanese citrus fruits and other foods in response to Pelosi’s August 2 visit.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it “greatly welcomes” the trade talks, which it said would lead to a “new page” in relations with the United States.

“With the recent escalation of the situation across the Taiwan Strait, the US government will continue to take concrete measures to maintain security and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” she said in a statement.

US-China relations are at their lowest point in decades amid disagreements over trade, security, technology, Beijing’s treatment of Muslim minorities and Hong Kong.

The US trade representative said the negotiations will be conducted under the auspices of Washington’s unofficial embassy, ​​the American Institute in Taiwan.

“China has always opposed any form of official exchanges between any country and China’s Taiwan region,” said Xu, a spokesperson for China. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely protect its sovereignty.”

Washington says it does not take a position on the status of China and Taiwan, but wants to settle their dispute peacefully. The United States 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 steps to uphold peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s continued efforts to undermine it and support Taiwan,” Campbell said during a conference call last Friday.

China accounts for more than twice Taiwan’s exports from the United States, the No. 2 overseas market. Taiwan’s government says its companies have invested nearly $200 billion in the mainland. Beijing says the 2020 census found that about 158,000 Taiwanese entrepreneurs and professionals and others live on the mainland.

China’s ban on imports of citrus fruits, fish and hundreds of other Taiwanese food products has hurt rural areas seen as supporters of President Tsai Ing-wen, but these goods account for less than 0.5% of Taiwan’s exports to the mainland.

Beijing has done nothing that might affect the flow of processor chips from Taiwan that are needed by Chinese factories that assemble the world’s smartphones and consumer electronics. The island is the largest supplier of chips in the world.

A second group of US lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and met with Tsai. Beijing Announcing a second round of military exercises after their arrival.

Taiwan, with a population of 23.6 million, launched its own military exercises in response.

On Thursday, it simulated exercises at Hualien Air Force Base on the east coast in response to a Chinese missile attack. Military personnel trained but did not fire Taiwanese-made Sky Bow 3 anti-aircraft missiles and 35mm anti-aircraft guns.

“We didn’t panic” when China launched military exercises, said Air Force Major Chen Tiehwan.

“Our usual training is to be on call 24 hours a day to prepare for missile launches,” Chen said. “We were ready.”

The US trade representative said the US-Taiwan talks will also cover agriculture, labour, the environment, digital technology, state-owned enterprises and “non-market policies”.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tariff war for 3 years over many of the same issues.

They include China’s support for state firms that dominate many of its industries, and complaints that Beijing is stealing foreign technology and limiting access to a range of areas in violation of its commitments to open the market.

Then US President Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods in 2019 in response to complaints that technology development methods violate free trade commitments and threaten American industrial leadership. Biden has left most of these tariff increases in place.

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