China has expressed strong opposition to “official interaction of any form” between the US and Taiwan and called on Washington to revoke a bilateral trade agreement with Taipei.
“The US move violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, contravenes the US’s own commitment of maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden signed into law Washington’s first bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan. It sends a “wrong message to separatist forces seeking ‘Taiwan independence’,” the Chinese ministry said.
“China is unwavering in its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We urge the US to change course immediately, revoke the so-called ‘Act’, stop pushing forward the negotiations on the so-called ‘initiative’, and stop going further down the wrong path,” it added.
On Monday, a brief statement released by the White House said Biden signed the United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act. The two sides approved the deal on June 1 after the American Institute in Taiwan and Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US reached an agreement.
Biden signed the act into law days after the US Senate passed the legislation.
China considers Taiwan to be its “breakaway province” while Taipei has insisted on its independence. While the US has maintained that it respects its long-standing one-China policy, it has increased its traffic to Taipei with lawmakers and former officials paying regular trips to Taiwan.
According to market watchdog Statista, the total value of US trade with Taiwan in 2022 amounted to $136 billion and defense exports of around $19 billion from the US to Taiwan are still pending.