Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China demands US stop trade talks with Taiwan

China’s government on Thursday accused Washington of jeopardizing peace after U.S. envoys began trade talks with Taiwan aimed at deepening relations with the self-ruled island democracy claimed by Beijing. Talks that started Wednesday cover trade, regulation and other areas based on “shared values” as market-oriented economies, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. It did not mention China but the talks add to gestures that show U.S. support for Taiwan amid menacing behavior by Beijing, which threatens to invade. Trade dialogues “disrupt peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian. He called on Washington to “stop negotiating agreements with Taiwan that have sovereign connotations and official nature.” (https://news.yahoo.com/china-demands-us-stop-trade-093116808.html) Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war that ended with the ruling Communist Party’s victory on the mainland. They have multibillion-dollar trade and investment ties but no official relations. Beijing says Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations. The United States has diplomatic relations only with Beijing but extensive informal ties with Taiwan. The U.S. government is committed by federal law to see that the island has the means to defend itself.

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