(Washington) US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Monday that the United States will soon begin discussing a trade agreement with Taiwan.
“I know we are in discussions with Taiwan, or we will start some soon, on some form of a framework agreement. These discussions have to start,” he said during a parliamentary hearing in Washington.
However, he referred to US Trade Representative, Catherine Taye, for any details on these future negotiations.
A potential trade agreement with Taipei may not satisfy China, which considers Taiwan one of its provinces and threatens to use force in the event of a formal declaration of independence or outside interference.
Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing as the sole official representative of China. But the United States remains Taiwan’s strongest ally and number one supplier of arms.
“Taiwan must have the means to defend itself,” Anthony Blinken reiterated Monday. “We continue to provide significant equipment to Taiwan for this purpose,” he added, citing “real concerns about the increasing aggression by the Beijing government” on the island.
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