The US government announced that it will begin negotiations with Taiwan on the conclusion of a trade agreement, the Associated Press reported.
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The information was released by the US Trade Representative after Beijing held military drills that included firing missiles into waters around Taiwan in an attempt to intimidate the island following a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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The US agency’s announcement made no mention of tensions with China, but said the talks were aimed at strengthening cooperation between Washington and Taipei on trade and regulations, a step that would lead to closer interaction at the official level. .
The US has no official relationship with the island, but maintains contacts through the American Institute in Taiwan. Washington is required by federal law to ensure that the island has sufficient funds to defend itself.
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Taiwan and China split in 1949 and the island has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, but the ruling Communist Party has vowed to annex it to the mainland, even by force if necessary.
Talks between Washington and Taipei will also touch on topics such as agriculture, labor, the environment, digital technology, the status of state-owned enterprises and “non-market policies,” the US Trade Representative said in a statement.