The US and Taiwan announced on Wednesday a plan to work together on infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region and Latin America. The new project is likely a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious plan launched by Beijing that is meant to link the Asian country with most of the world through infrastructure projects and investments.
The American Institute in Taiwan, Washington’s de-facto embassy on the island, released a statement on the new project, which is known as the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation.
“This Framework will support the development of quality infrastructure in emerging markets, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region and Latin America, by unlocking barriers to private sector investment in infrastructure projects,” the statement said.
The plan is part of Washington’s strategy to increase ties with Taiwan. The island recently hosted two high-level visits from US officials. US Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan in August, making him the highest-level US official to visit the island since Washington broke formal relations with Taipei in 1979.
The US is looking to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and US officials are actively discouraging other countries from doing business with China. Some countries are getting fed up. Portugal rejected an ultimatum from US Ambassador George Glass, who said Portugal has to choose between the US and China or face the consequences.