US, Taiwan Sign New Trade Deal

    US, Taiwan Sign New Trade Deal
    Last updated Jun 02, 2023
    Image credit: Unsplash


    • The US and Taiwan inked their first deal under a new trade pact intended to deepen trade and economic ties between both countries, the US Trade Representative's press office said on Thursday, prompting PRC pushback.
    • The agreement — the first within the framework of the US-Taiwan "Initiative on 21st Century Trade" — was signed at the headquarters of the American Institute in Taiwan in Washington.
    • US Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi called the first agreement an "important milestone," while Taiwan's government spoke of the "most comprehensive" bilateral trade agreement in more than four decades.
    • The agreement aims to boost bilateral trade and investment flows, improve regulatory procedures and customs administration, promote anti-corruption measures, and encourage the development of small and medium-sized businesses.
    • The signing comes after the US and Taiwan agreed last month on the first part of the trade initiative they launched last August after Washington excluded Taiwan from its major pan-Asian trade initiative, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
    • On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that the trade deal violates the "one-China principle," calling it the latest example of Washington's desire to erode that policy after Beijing on Thursday cautioned the US against signing the deal with "China's Taiwan region."


    Pro-China narrative

    The signing of the first part of the so-called "21st Century Trade Initiative" is further evidence of how Washington is deliberately strengthening separatist forces in Taiwan under the guise of trade and economic cooperation as part of its containment strategy against China. The deal is primarily a political pact that serves Washington's geopolitical interests and will not bring significant benefits to Taiwanese businesses. Instead, it will create uncertainty in economic and trade relations with mainland China and further jeopardize the well-being of Taiwanese compatriots.

    Anti-China narrative

    Although the first agreement under the US-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative still leaves important issues unresolved, it's an important contribution to strengthening US-Taiwan trade ties. Combined with diplomatic measures such as visits by high-ranking US officials to Taiwan, it also sends an unmistakable signal to Beijing, which has threatened to annex the self-governing island by force, if necessary, as part of its dream of reunification. Taipei and Washington will continue to strengthen both their political and trade ties to deter Beijing from any ill-considered actions.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 5% chance, that China will recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan by 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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