China ‘firmly’ opposes US-Taiwanese trade initiative

BEIJING/TAIPEI, June 2 (Reuters) – China “strongly” opposes a new trade initiative between Taiwan and the United States, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, a plan that the Taipei government says is a recognition of the key position the island plays in global supply chains.

The United States and Taiwan announced the U.S.-Taiwanese 21st Century Trade Initiative on Wednesday, days after the Biden administration excluded the Chinese-claimed island from its Asia-focused economic plan designed to counter the growing influence of Beijing. Read more

China has been angered by the heightened US engagement with democratically-ruled Taiwan, regularly describing the issue as the most important and sensitive in China-US relations.

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“The United States should carefully manage its trade and economic relations with Taiwan to avoid sending the wrong message to Taiwanese separatists,” said Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Beijing opposes any form of official contact between Taiwan and other countries, including the negotiation and signing of any economic and trade agreement “of a sovereign connotation and of an official nature”, Gao said during a briefing. online press.

Taiwan has been hailed by the initiative, seeing it as another sign of support from Washington, and hopes it could pave the way for Taiwan’s eventual membership of Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), launched this week. last.

Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang told a cabinet meeting Thursday that the island “holds an indispensable key position in the global supply chain,” according to a statement from his office.

It “made it clear to the US government that it needs to strengthen economic and trade ties with our country in order to build global supply chain resilience and security,” Su said.

At the time of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and with the “dramatic changes” in the international situation, “the importance of Taiwan’s overall strategic position has become clearer”, he said.

Taiwan is a major producer of semiconductors, whose global shortages have disrupted production of cars and some consumer electronics.

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Reporting by Xu Jing, Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo in Beijing and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Edmund Blair and William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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