Taiwan says that US trade deal would show strength amid ongoing pressure from China

A bilateral trade deal between Taiwan and the United States would reinforce US support for the democratic island in the face of "unrelenting intimidation" from China, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday 4 December.
calendar icon 4 December 2020
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"Therefore, I look forward to making progress on a bilateral trade agreement with the United States, our second-largest trading partner and most important security ally," she said.

Tsai said she was thankful for bipartisan support from US politicians for such a deal.

"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," she added.

China has ramped up its military activities near the island, including on occasion flying fighter jets over the sensitive mid line of the Taiwan Strait, which serves as an unofficial buffer between the two sides.

Tsai said she would "never stop seeking a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship", but that she would also not compromise when making decisions needed to keep Taiwan secure, noting rises in Taiwan's defence budget.

While outgoing US President Donald Trump remains a popular figure in Taiwan for his administration's championing of the island, including new arms sales and visits to Taipei by senior US officials, Taiwan has expressed confidence President-elect Joe Biden's government will continue that support.

Tsai alluded to the incoming administration, saying: "As we move towards 2021, the Taiwan-US partnership holds enormous opportunities for growth".

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