In another show of US support for Taiwan, Washington and Taipei will begin formal trade negotiations this fall despite warnings from China against the idea.
The office of the US Trade Representative announced the planned talks on Wednesday and said they will be conducted under the auspice of the US’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, known as the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
The talks will be launched under an initiative the US and Taiwan agreed to back in June. The negotiations will cover several trade issues, including deepening agriculture trade, digital trade, and removing barriers to trade.
The announcement comes amid soaring tensions between the US and Beijing that were sparked by a visit to Taiwan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), which was followed by another congressional delegation led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). China responded to Pelosi’s visit by launching its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan and has kept up the pressure on the island.
Chinese officials on Thursday denounced the US plans to launch formal trade talks with Taiwan. Like Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Beijing sees the trade cooperation as the US moving away from the one-China policy.
“The US must not negotiate agreements with sovereign implication or official nature with China’s Taiwan region or send any wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces in the name of trade and economic interactions,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
Wang warned that China “will act resolutely to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity” and urged the US “not to miscalculate” on this issue.