Taiwan-US talks to counter China pressure

Taiwan and the US announced new talks later this year.
Taiwan and the US announced new talks later this year.

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 political unification.

Under President Donald Trump, the US has stepped up 40 years of informal ties with Taiwan while also engaging in a dispute with China over trade and tariffs.

De-facto US ambassador to Taipei Brent Christensen told a news conference Tuesday the talks being planned in September in Taipei will include a senior official from Washington.

"We believe it's possible to have a good relationship with Taiwan and a good relationship with China at the same time," Christensen said.

"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," he said.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the dialogue would allow the sides to "grow closer and more direct in their cooperation ... to protect regional freedom and legal order."

Australian Associated Press