Taiwan and US planning talks to counter Beijing’s thrust for unification

  • Senior Washington official will take part in discussions in September, according to US ‘ambassador’
  • Announcement follows heightened pressure from mainland China

 

Date: 19 Mar, 2019
By: Associated Press

PLA warplanes pictured during an “island encirclement” drill, one of the ways in which mainland China has tried to step up the pressure on Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Taiwan and the US will hold talks later this year as part of upgraded efforts to counter Beijing’s growing pressure on the island for unification.

The talks planned for September in Taipei will include a senior official from Washington, William Brent Christensen, the de facto US ambassador to Taipei, said on Tuesday.
Christensen did not say whether the consultations were meant to provoke mainland China or push it to make changes. The US has formal diplomatic relations with Beijing but maintains strong ties with Taipei though the American Institute in Taiwan, its de facto embassy, which has recently undergone a major upgrade in facilities.

“We believe it’s possible to have a good relationship with Taiwan and a good relationship with China at the same time,” Christensen said at a news conference. “Things we do with Taiwan should not be regarded as things that we are doing because we are seeking to provoke China or vice versa.”    [FULL  STORY]

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