This is a new step just taken between the United States and Taiwan that should not assuage China’s anger. The Office of US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Wednesday that Washington and Taipei will begin formal negotiations for a trade and investment deal this fall. Discussions that are part of an initiative announced in June and have already led to a first meeting in the same month. In addition to developing trade and investment, the talks will also focus on “anti-market policies and methods,” according to Katherine Tai’s office, which could be interpreted as a reference to China.
Taiwan, an open digital state that wants to be the polar opposite of China
After the visit of the President of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to the island in early August and the visit of a group of parliamentarians on Monday, this announcement represents new testimony to the desire of the United States to get closer to Taiwan, already an important one trading partner. In fact, since 1994, Taipei and Washington have been bound by a “framework” related to trade and investment that is not a formal agreement. A trade deal will “bolster trade and investment” and “foster innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses,” said Sarah Bianchi, assistant US trade representative.
Increased American military presence
A few days earlier, White House Asia-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said Washington would not only consolidate its trade ties with Taiwan but also increase its military presence by conducting new air and sea crossings in the straits. In response to China’s “provocative” actions (massive air raids and rocket fire in Taiwanese, even Japanese waters, etc.), the United States claimed that Beijing used Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan to try to change the status quo on the situation on the island to disturb island. Protecting the island will continue to be a priority: American ships and planes will make new passages in the Taiwan Strait “in the coming weeks,” Kurt Campbell said. US forces “will continue to fly, sail or operate wherever international law permits,” he continued, without specifying the nature of operations in the straits or their timing.
But these rapprochements could ignite the wrath of China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory and resists the autonomous democracy being seen as an independent nation. Chinese authorities viewed the Democrat leader’s visit to the lower house as a provocation and responded with trade sanctions against Taiwan and representatives and elected officials from the island accused of supporting its independence. Notably among them is the Ambassador of Taipei to the United States. Beijing has also conducted numerous military maneuvers near the island, the country’s largest ever held around Taiwan. They were supposed to end on Sunday, but on Monday China announced it had organized new military drills