Taiwan, US could start talks on closer economic ties “in a few weeks”

The new discussions will “explore concrete ways to deepen US-Taiwan trade and investment relations,” officials said, focusing on institutionalizing cooperation on supply chain resilience, labor, the environment and sustainable development.

According to the senior official, it will be officially announced after “coordination and consultations”.

The White House declined to comment.

The senior official also told CNN on Friday that Taiwan could send a delegation to attend the SelectUSA summit in Maryland in June. The summit facilitates overseas business investment in the United States.

Taiwan has been excluded from the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a regional economic plan unveiled by President Joe Biden during his visit to Tokyo earlier this week. The framework is Biden’s attempt to include a region that is increasingly influenced by China.

IPEF is not a trade agreement in the traditional sense. It includes one trade-related “pillar”, but also other areas such as more resilient supply chains, the promotion of clean energy and the fight against corruption.

The countries participating in the IPEF are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, in addition to the United States.

“The future of the 21st century economy will be largely written in the Indo-Pacific, our region,” Biden said when presenting the plan.

Taiwan had expressed his desire to be part of the framework, but was excluded from the launch – a move that some analysts thought was probably based on the desire of some members not to fuel tensions with China.

“Many countries have expressed a desire to reduce the importance of the US-China confrontation in the IPEF, and this is the main reason why Taiwan was not invited to the launch ceremony,” said Roy Lee, deputy executive director of Taiwan’s Chung-hua Foundation for Economic Affairs. research.

“Some countries have emphasized that Taiwan’s involvement would be strengthened [the IPEF’s] efficiency, but there were also concerns that China would view these countries as a sideline, “he added.

Taiwan plays a key role in global supply chains as it is a world leader in the supply of semiconductor chips.
In particular, one Taiwanese company, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), is the world’s largest contract chip maker and plays a key role in powering products designed by technology companies such as Apple (AAPL), Qualcomm (QCOM) in Nvidia (NVDA).

worth it nearly $ 500 billion, TSMC is one of Asia’s most valuable companies and represents 90% of the world’s super-advanced chips.

Rising tensions between the US and China

The self-governing island of 24 million people has been facing China’s growing military aggression in recent months. The communist authorities in Beijing claimed to be the 7th largest Asian economy as part of their territory, although they never ruled it.

Taiwan has proven to be one of the central issues between China and the United States, and Biden’s tour of Asia this month focused on Beijing growing influence in region.

Biden said Monday that the United States will intervene militarily if China tries to seize Taiwan by force – which seemed a strong warning to Beijing not to emulate Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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The White House quickly cut back on comments, saying they did not reflect a change in U.S. policy. This is the third time in recent months – including during CNN’s October City Hall – that Biden has said the U.S. will protect Taiwan from Chinese attack, only the White House has withdrawn those comments.

Beijing has reacted angrily, urging Washington to be “careful with words and actions on the Taiwan issue.”

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with the Taipei authorities, but it remains close. informal connections by facilitating economic exchanges and supplying Taiwan with defense weapons to defend against invasion.

Last Friday, Taiwan’s leading trade negotiator John Deng had a bilateral meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Thailand, during which they agreed to explore ways to deepen trade relations and meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward. according to the reading. from the United States Trade Representation Office.

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