The U.S. government is set to hold trade talks with Taiwan as a sign of support for the island democracy that China claims as its territory.
Last week, President Joe Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, Kurt Campbell, said that trade talks would “deepen our ties with Taiwan” but stressed that policy wasn’t changing.
According to reports, the United States has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, its ninth-largest trading partner, but maintains extensive informal ties.
The U.S. Trade Representatives said “formal negotiations” would develop trade and regulatory ties, a step that would entail closer official interaction.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the trade talks, which it said would open a “new chapter” in relations with the US.
The U.S. government will continue to take concrete actions to maintain security and stability across the Taiwan Strait, “as the situation across the Taiwan Strait has recently escalated,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, China is unhappy with the planned trade talks and said they take action if necessary to “safeguard their sovereignty.”
Shu Jueting, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said the planned talks violate its stance that Taiwan has no right to foreign relations.
“China firmly opposes this,” Jueting said.