Beijing speaks out against US-Taiwan trade talks

Mainland officials on Thursday have spoken out against the launch of talks to deepen trade ties between the United States and Taiwan, an initiative that follows an agreement US President Joe Biden announced last week with a number of Asian economies.

The Commerce Ministry said Beijing opposes any form of official contact between Taiwan and foreign countries, adding Washington should prudently handle trade and economic ties with Taiwan.

The initiative in some ways parallels the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, an economic partnership with 12 Asian countries that he launched last week during a visit to Seoul and Tokyo, which excluded the island.

In a statement, the US Trade Representative said that "both sides will work … to develop an ambitious roadmap for negotiations for reaching agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes."

Following Biden's Asia trip last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a speech reiterated his country's commitment to the one-China policy over Taiwan, after Biden said the US would get involved militarily should the mainland attack the island.

Responding to the speech, the Foreign Ministry said the Taiwan issue is "purely China's internal affairs". (AFP/Reuters)

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