The U.S. trade representative announced on Wednesday that America will begin trade talks with Taiwan, declaring plans to develop an “ambitious roadmap for negotiations.”
In retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month, China launched missiles in the Taiwan Strait. Beijing’s military drills targeted six zones surrounding the island.
China further retaliated by banning Taiwanese imports of citrus, fish, and other food products. However, it did not stop imports of processor chips. Taiwan is the world’s top supplier of chips, and China relies heavily on that supply to assemble electronics, the Associated Press reported.
Since Pelosi’s visit, China cautioned that further attempts to secure a formal and independent relationship with Taiwan would lead to “serious consequences.” Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory, and it stated that negotiating independent trade agreements would violate the One China policy.
Days after Pelosi’s visit, a congressional delegation ignored the warning and also visited Taiwan “to discuss shared interests including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and investments in semiconductors,” stated Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting stated that “China firmly opposes” the trade talks. She encouraged U.S. officials to “fully respect China’s core interests.” The Biden administration maintains that the United States has not violated China’s policy
Deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell stated in a press briefing last week, “We’ll continue, consistent with our One China policy, to deepen our ties with Taiwan, including through continuing to advance our economic and trade relationship. For example, we’re developing an ambitious roadmap for trade negotiations, which we intend to announce in the coming days.”
In response to the announcement of trade talks with the U.S., Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed “high welcome.”
Campbell also said that the U.S. would continue to fulfill its obligation, under federal law, to protect Taiwan. He called China’s military actions “fundamentally at odds with the goal of peace and stability.” Taiwan responded to China’s missile strikes by launching its own military drills.
Shu warned that China opposes any official agreements with Taiwan. Furthermore, she stated, “China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty.”
The office of the U.S. trade representative announced that it expects the first round of trade negotiations between the U.S. and Taiwan to begin in the fall under the auspices of the unofficial embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan.