US, Taiwan Trade Officials Discuss Deepening Relations | Political news

The meeting comes as US President Joe Biden begins his first visit to Asia in a bid to show his commitment to the region.

The top US trade official renewed her efforts to deepen economic ties with Taiwan during a meeting with her Taiwanese counterpart, as Joe Biden kicked off his first visit to Asia since taking office amid a competitive backdrop growing with China.

In a statement on Friday, the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said it met with Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng in Bangkok ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting.

“Ambassador Tai and Minister Deng directed their teams to explore concrete ways to deepen the U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relationship and to meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward,” he said.

Such high-level meetings can heighten tensions between the United States and China, which claims Taiwan’s autonomy as part of its territory and opposes any formal exchanges between the Taiwanese government and other foreign governments. .

Relations between Washington and Beijing have been strained in recent months, particularly due to China’s neutral public stance on the war in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has warned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping of the ‘consequences’ if China supports Russia in its invasion, and senior Biden administration officials have urged Beijing to pressure Moscow to do so. end the war.

Last month, China also denounced a visit by a group of US lawmakers to Taipei, saying it was “deliberately provocative” and had “led to a further escalation of tension in the Taiwan Strait”.

Six US lawmakers, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on the trip.

“With Taiwan producing 90% of the world’s high-end semiconductor products, it is a country of global importance, consequence and impact, and it should therefore be understood that Taiwan’s security has global impact,” Menendez told Tsai at the time.

The Biden administration has tried to demonstrate that Washington remains focused on the Asia-Pacific as Beijing becomes an increasingly powerful player in the region.

Last week, Biden hosted a two-day summit with the Association of 10 Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the White House, pledging $150 million for infrastructure, security and anti-terrorism efforts. -pandemics in the region.

The US president kicked off his first Asian visit to South Korea on Friday, meeting newly sworn-in President Yoon Suk-yeol in person for the first time.

Biden said the future will be written in the region and now is the time for the United States and like-minded partners to invest in each other.

“With today’s visit, I hope the relationship between Korea and the United States will be revived in the form of an economic and security alliance based on high-tech and supply chain cooperation.” , Yoon said, urging Biden to entice South Korean and American companies to invest in each. countries of others.