US, Taiwan Begin Formal Trade Talks

Photo: Reuters

The Facts

  • After unveiling the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade in June, the two nations have agreed to begin talks to reach agreements with "economically meaningful outcomes," as well as discuss China's alleged "economic coercion."

  • The talks - which are set to include issues such as trade faciliation, good regulatory practices, and barriers to trade - are reportedly part of a US effort to "deepen ties with Taiwan." However, Biden's coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region confirmed the US's stance on the One China principle hasn't changed.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

This trade initiative is economic in nature and not a provocation by the US against China. The US government still recognizes China's legal and governmental sovereignty over Taiwan; any military response from Beijing would be an outlandish escalation on China's part.

Pro-China narrative

This latest move is yet another blatant challenge to the One China policy under the guise of trade cooperation. It's an attempt to limit the island's reliance on the Chinese mainland and expand its so-called international space - a direct threat to PRC sovereignty.

Cynical narrative

While the US has a long history of protecting South Pacific nations from communist invasion, the world has changed and the US isn't the sole power in Asia. China has become equal to the US and, in some ways, outgrown it both economically and militarily. Risking a war with China over an island they claim as theirs is not worth the consequences.

Nerd narrative

There is a 26% chance that China will launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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