The US and Taiwan will discuss trade between the two countries this fall. This was announced by the US Department of Commerce. In addition to talks that should deliver “economically meaningful outcomes,” “economic pressure” from China toward Taiwan is on the agenda, the countries said. It was announced on Wednesday. China reacted angrily to the announcement, considering Taiwan a renegade province.
It was already announced in June that the US and Taiwan would begin talks. Topics to be discussed later still need to be agreed upon. Taiwan Trade Ambassador John Deng said he hoped the talks would be a precursor to a free trade agreement with the United States. This is Taiwan’s long-standing wish.
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In addition to issues such as product regulation and quality requirements, China’s “economic pressure” has come up on the agenda. This means not only China’s blockade of Taiwan, but also the pressure China will put on countries that enter into relations with Taiwan. For example, Lithuania had to deal with all kinds of Chinese opposition when the Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius was actually called an embassy. In other countries, a different name is commonly used due to the complicated situation of the island state.
Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, but Beijing claims the island is part of China. So the Asian country does not want other countries to enter into trade agreements with Taiwan. China’s Foreign Ministry has called on the US to stop tightening ties with Taiwan. “China will take resolute measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We advise the US not to make false assessments,” said a ministry spokesperson.
A possible blockade by China could affect global chip production. Taiwan is a leading manufacturer of high-performance semiconductors, thanks to technological leadership The chip maker is TSMC. US companies such as Apple, AMD and NVIDIA use TSMC’s manufacturing facilities. TSMC is building a factory in Phoenix, Arizona, but it will be a few years before it actually starts production. (ANP/Bloomberg)
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A version of this article appeared in the August 19, 2022 issue of the newspaper
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