Washington and Taipei prepare to negotiate a trade agreement in September

Washington and Taipei are preparing to negotiate a trade agreement as early as September

Washington and Taipei were already bound by a trade “framework”, but not by a formal agreement.

Taiwan and the United States announced on Thursday the start of trade talks in early fall, as a senior US diplomat warned that Beijing would continue to pressure the democratic island. ;he claims.

These discussions are part of an initiative announced in June and which has already given rise to a first meeting the same month.< /p>

The talks will cover a wide variety of topics, including agriculture, e-commerce and lifting trade barriers, the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

A trade deal will strengthen trade and investment, and spur innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses, said Sarah Bianchi, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative .

We welcome this opportunity to deepen economic collaboration between our two freedom-loving countries while shaping a new pattern of business cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry tweeted.

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Taiwan and the United States are already important trading partners. The island is also an indispensable global supplier of semiconductors, needed in particular in mobile phones, computers, cars and missiles.

But Taipei's biggest trading partner remains Beijing, which has reacted by strongly opposing the negotiations.

China has always opposed any formal exchange between a country and the Chinese region of Taiwan, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting told reporters on Thursday, adding that the issue concerns China-US relations.

Last year, 42% of Taiwan's exports went to China and Hong Kong, compared to 15% to the United States.

Beijing regards Taiwan as its territory and has promised to take it back, by force if necessary.

For its part, Washington recognizes the Beijing regime and not that of Taipei, but maintains relations of de facto with Taiwan.

Taipei and Washington have already been bound since 1994 by a trade and investment framework, which is not a formal agreement.

Washington refuses to change its position on Taiwan and accuses Beijing of threatening peace by exploiting the visit to the island in early August by the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Chinese authorities viewed the Democratic leader's visit to the House of Representatives as a provocation and responded with trade sanctions on Taiwan as well as military maneuvers near the island.

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A senior US diplomat said Thursday he expects Beijing to step up its military, economic and diplomatic coercion on Taiwan in the weeks and months to come.

If our policy does not #x27;hasn't changed, what has changed is Beijing's growing coercion, Daniel Kritenbrink, the State Department's East Asia official, said during a teleconference with reporters.

The Chinese military exercises are part of an intense campaign of coercion […] to intimidate and coerce Taiwan and undermine its resilience, Mr. Kritenbrink analyzed.

The American diplomat assured that Washington would respond with calm, but resolute measures to keep the Taiwan Strait open.

During its maneuvers, the Chinese military fired several ballistic missiles into Taiwanese waters . Beijing hadn't made such a show of force since the mid-1990s.

For its part, Taiwan presented its most advanced fighter plane on Wednesday during x27;a rare nocturnal display.

Faced with the threat of recent military exercises by Chinese communist forces, we remained vigilant while establishing the concept of "battlegrounds everywhere and workout anytime" […] to ensure national security, the Taiwan Air Force said in a statement.

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