US, Taiwan plan in-person trade talks as China tensions simmer

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The United States and Taiwan will hold in-person trade talks in New York next week as they deepen ties despite opposition from China, which claims the island.

The “conceptual discussions” on the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, a plan first announced in June, will take place on Nov 8 and 9 and will involve representatives from the National Economic Council, Commerce and Treasury departments, the Office of the US Trade Representative, which will lead the delegation, said on its website on Thursday.

The US-Taiwan trade initiative aims to reach agreements in areas including trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, strong anti-corruption standards, and addressing distortive practices of state-owned enterprises.

It was first announced weeks after President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in May, a deal designed to counter China’s influence in the region that did not feature Taipei despite more than 50 senators urging Biden to include the island.

Since then, Washington’s relationship with Beijing has become even more strained over Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Taiwan, however, rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s landmark visit to Taipei in August, China launched unprecedented military drills around the island, sparking concern in the region.

The talks will take place under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US.

Taiwan is hoping the meeting and subsequent talks can help create a fair and competitive investment and trade environment and help Taiwanese exporters reduce costs and grow their business globally, according to a statement from the Cabinet-level Office of Trade Negotiations.




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