Taiwan-US Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue to take place

The inaugural US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue will begin today. Delegates will discuss a range of issues including infrastructure development,

US taiwan

Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam6

The inaugural US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue will begin today.

Delegates will discuss a range of issues including infrastructure development, supply chain security and investment screening. Strengthening Washington-Taipei relations have raised concerns from Beijing, which staunchly opposes any foreign relations with what it considers to be its sovereign territory.

China’s recent signing on to a pan-Asian trade pact and Taiwan’s easing of US trade restrictions likely indicate further entrenchment of the existing competition. While US-Taiwan relations are likely to tighten during the remainder of the outgoing Trump administration, the medium-term implications under the incoming Biden administration are markedly less certain.

Expect incoming President Joe Biden to struggle with eliciting cooperation from Beijing on critical issues like climate change, while also remaining accountable to the “tough on China” stance that 73% of the American public has adopted. Although Taiwan will lose its staunchest supporter in Donald Trump’s exit, Biden’s comparatively tempered rhetoric could have a cooling effect on cross-strait relations. Furthermore, Biden’s interest in multilateral coalition building could fare better for victims of Chinese expansion. However, if the US continues its policy of confrontation, it could risk losing the ability to bring Beijing to the table, something Washington has already struggled with during the ongoing trade war.

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