By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Thursday opposed the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade amid high tensions over the status of the island nation.
“The one-China principle is the premise for China’s Taiwan region to engage in any external economic cooperation,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Beijing’s statement came after the US on Wednesday said it has agreed to launch formal negotiations on a bilateral trade framework with Taiwan early in the fall.
“The United States and Taiwan, under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, today have reached consensus on the negotiating mandate for the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade announced on June 1, 2022,” the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement.
It added that the mandate sets out the broad objectives shared by the two sides for the upcoming trade negotiations, which are expected to start "early this fall."
The Chinese Commerce Ministry also criticized the US ban on electronic design automation software, saying: “The move violates international economic and trade rules and disrupts the global supply chain.”
Washington’s announcement on trade initiative with Taiwan comes after the Chinese military held massive exercises since early this month, soon after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid an unannounced visit to the self-ruled island, which Beijing views as its “breakaway province.”
Although Pelosi and the Biden administration reiterated US adherence to the one-China policy, Chinese authorities have considered the visits dangerous defiance of the status quo.
Beijing condemned the trip, sanctioned Pelosi and her family, and downgraded military dialogue with the US, besides taking several other countermeasures.
However, this past Sunday, 12 days after Pelosi’s trip, another delegation of US lawmakers landed in Taipei, where they held a security and supply chain dialogue with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.