The United States has announced that formal trade negotiations with Taiwan will begin soon, following a contentious visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The first round of talks is expected to begin in “early fall,” according to the US Trade Representative’s Office.
They will discuss trade facilitation, digital trade, and anti-corruption standards.
Following Ms. Pelosi’s visit, relations between the United States and China have become increasingly tense.
The US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade was first announced in June, and both parties now claim to have “reached consensus on the negotiating mandate.”
“We intend to pursue an ambitious schedule…. that will help build a fairer, more prosperous, and resilient 21st century economy,” said Sarah Bianchi, Deputy United States Trade Representative.
In 2020, trade between the United States and Taiwan was worth nearly $106 billion (£88 billion).
Following Ms. Pelosi’s visit earlier this month, China launched its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan.
The US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan under the “One China policy,” but maintains a “robust unofficial” relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island so that it can defend itself.
Beijing regards the self-governing island as a renegade territory that must be integrated into the mainland.
On the other hand, Taiwan is a self-governing island that sees itself as distinct from the mainland.
Separately, top US diplomat for East Asia Daniel Kritenbrink stated on Thursday that Beijing’s “growing coercion….threatens the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”
“We will continue to take measured but firm steps to maintain peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to undermine it, and to support Taiwan in accordance with our long-standing policy,” he said.
The Fundamentals of China and Taiwan
Why do China and Taiwan have such strained relations?
China considers Taiwan (self-ruled island) to be part of its territory and insists on unifying it with the mainland, using force if necessary.
Taiwan is governed in what way?
The island has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and a military force of approximately 300,000 active troops.
Who acknowledges Taiwan?
A few countries only recognize Taiwan. Instead, most people recognize the Chinese government in Beijing. The United States has no official relations with Taiwan, but a law requires it to provide the island with the means to defend itself.