US and Taiwan announce trade deal negotiations, defying Chinese warnings

The United States and Taiwan have announced they will begin trade deal negotiations this fall, defying the latest threats from Bejing after a top-level US congressional visits to the island.

Last Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that China has always been against any country negotiating economic and trade agreements of sovereign implication or official nature with Taiwan. Wang said the US should not repeat its “wrongdoing” and that China would act “resolutely” to defend its sovereignty and integrity.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the negotiation would cover different industries ranging from agriculture to digital trade and that a deal would win give foreign investors more confidence in Taiwan, enabling it to attract more capital and technology from the US and other countries.

Since last year, China has targeted a number of Taiwanese agricultural products as it steps up its military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. Before the most recent ban, China had already suspended the imports of all Taiwanese pineapples, sugar apples, wax apples, and grouper fish, each time citing the presence of pesticides or harmful chemicals.


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