The United States and Taiwan on Wednesday, 17 August, agreed to commence trade talks with the objective to reach "economically meaningful outcomes," Reuters reported.
This is yet another sign of Washington's support to Taipei, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a delegation of lawmakers to Taiwan, sparking an angry reaction from Beijing that included military drills, that is, warships and warplanes being sent across the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
Additionally, a five-member delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey visited Taiwan on Sunday and Monday earlier this week, as part of a larger visit to Asia.
Nevertheless, the US and Taiwan have unveiled an initiative, called the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade in June, just a few days after the Biden administration excluded the island from its Asia-centric economic plan designed to curtail Beijing's rise.
"We plan to pursue an ambitious schedule for achieving high-standard commitments and meaningful outcomes covering the eleven trade areas in the negotiating mandate that will help build a fairer, more prosperous and resilient 21st-century economy," Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said in a statement.
“It would be deeply destabilising and irresponsible of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) if it were to try and take steps designed to control or restrict the ability of the US or others to transit the strait or … to threaten the ability of shipping and commerce to transit the strait," US assistant secretary of state for east Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, said in a press call, reported The Guardian.
(With inputs from Reuters and The Guardian.)
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