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Taiwan sees trade deal with US as Washington’s support in face of ‘intimidation’ from China

Taiwan sees trade deal with US as Washington’s support in face of ‘intimidation’ from China
President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday that a bilateral trade deal between Taiwan and the United States would reinforce America’s support for the island amid what she sees as pressure from China.

Tsai made the statement in a recorded message to the American Legislative Exchange Council after receiving its International Pioneer Award for Leadership.

“I look forward to making progress on a bilateral trade agreement with the US, our second-largest trading partner and most important security ally,” she stressed. “Such an agreement would further enhance our close economic and trade partnership, and also reinforce America’s support for Taiwan in the face of unrelenting intimidation from across the Strait.”

The deal has bipartisan support from US politicians, according to Taiwan’s leader, who believes that the Taiwan-US partnership “holds enormous opportunities for growth.”

Taiwan’s military have recently complained about China’s fighter jets flying over the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait, which is an unofficial buffer between the two sides. Tsai said she would “never stop seeking a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship,” but made it clear rises in the island’s defense budget will help keep Taiwan secure.

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Tsai had earlier said she was confident that channels of communication with Washington would remain under the new US administration. Taiwanese TV stations also showed undated footage of the island’s leader holding talks at the Presidential Office in Taipei with Jake Sullivan, who was chosen by Joe Biden as his national security adviser.

The International Pioneer Award is presented to leaders who exemplify a commitment to free market, limited government principles, and support freedom both in their own countries and abroad.

Beijing’s policies toward Taiwan are based on the “one China” principle. China has repeatedly opposed any contact between senior US officials and Taiwanese leaders and condemned the US move to sell weapons to the island.

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