US proposes to open negotiations with Taiwan

US proposes to open negotiations with Taiwan

The United States is proposing to open formal negotiations with Taiwan on an economic and trade initiative.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative said that the first round of talks on the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade will start early this fall. It may sound innocent. The official USTR statement makes it seem that it is just routine talks aimed at promoting trade and economic ties with the Chinese island. The move is aimed at overturning the island's status in international law, since Taiwan is not a sovereign entity, but part of China, and it reneges on the US government pledge not to develop official ties with Taiwan.

Since China and the US established diplomatic relations, including the previous one of Donald Trump and the present one, every US administration has committed to one-China policy. Even with the Taiwan Relations Act, all US administrations have maintained a relatively low profile when it comes to their dealings with the authorities in Taiwan. Taiwan was conspicuously absent when President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity in May.

The White House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and the US president tried to distance himself from the White House. He knows that he knows, just as everyone else does, openly betraying a solemn US commitment that would upend China-US relations and expose the US for what it is, the violator of international rules and norms, as well as the spuriousness of the values it wants other countries to endorse.

Beijing has reiterated time and again that the Taiwan question is the most sensitive subject in bilateral relations and that adherence to the one-China principle is a prerequisite for Taiwan's participation in international economic cooperation.

It has urged Washington to hold onto its commitment not to have an economic and trade agreement with Taiwan that has sovereign connotations and is official in nature. Washington is acting above board and is pretending to adhere to China's one-China policy, as it has repeatedly done.

The US administration has tried to obfuscate the deal, but the official sanction of its purpose is clear.

On Wednesday, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink claimed that Beijing had overreacted to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan and accused it of taking actions that are provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented, as he remarked that Beijing was responding to a move by Washington. Washington is making one aggressive rule-breaking move after another with the aim of changing the status quo. Washington is the one who is jeopardizing peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and in the broader region.