The U.S. and Taiwan are drawing closer, irritating China

 

·         On Aug. 31, State Department Assistant Secretary David Stilwell said Washington and Taipei will establish a new bilateral economic dialogue that will focus on technology but will also cover health care and energy.

·         Last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan, becoming the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades.

·         “Beijing is increasingly concerned about US-Taiwan cooperation, including a call by some Taiwan watchers in the US that Washington should end its policy of strategic ambiguity and pledge concrete support for Taiwan against Chinese aggression,” said Eurasia analysts Kelsey Broderick and Michael Hirson in a note on Monday.

 

Huileng Tan, CNBC 

Sep 8 2020

 

SINGAPORE —Taiwan has been building closer relationships with the U.S. recently, raising the ire of China.

 

The development comes as Taipei distances itself from China ahead of the U.S. presidential election and as China steps up military activity around the island.

 

On Aug. 31, State Department Assistant Secretary David Stilwell said Washington and Taipei will establish a new bilateral economic dialogue that will focus on technology but will also cover health care and energy. After the announcement, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said that bilateral relations “are getting stronger by the day.”

 

Just days earlier, Taiwan announced that it would ease restrictions on American beef and pork imports, paving the way for an eventual free trade deal with the U.S.

 

Last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan, becoming the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades.

 

The developments between Taipei and Washington come as the rivalry between the U.S. and China grows more tense.

 

“Washington is embroiled in an increasingly ferocious great-power competition with Beijing, raising concerns that the United States may actually be strengthening ties with Taiwan primarily to frustrate and thwart China,” Derek Grossman, senior defense analyst at Rand Corp, wrote in an commentary last month that first appeared on the South China Morning Post.

 

The moves drew protests from China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory that must one day be reunified with the mainland and therefore should have no right to participate in international diplomacy. During Azar’s visit, Chinese fighter jets crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait.

 

“Beijing is increasingly concerned about US-Taiwan cooperation, including a call by some Taiwan watchers in the US that Washington should end its policy of strategic ambiguity and pledge concrete support for Taiwan against Chinese aggression,” Eurasia analysts Kelsey Broderick and Michael Hirson said in a note on Monday.

 

Washington has no formal diplomatic tie with Taipei but is Taiwan’s most powerful international backer and largest arms supplier.

 

U.S. cautious on Taiwan tilt ...

 

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