calendar Tuesday, 1 December 2020 clock
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WASHINGTON: The US and Taiwan held talks on Friday on strengthening their economic relationship in the face of increasing pressure on the island from mainland China, which the Taiwanese side hailed as a successful step forward.

The talks, under the auspices of a new Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, were held virtually and in person, led on the US side by Undersecretary of State Keith Krach, who angered China with a visit to Taipei in September.

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Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi brought a delegation to Washington for the discussions.

Dialogue mechanism

A statement from Taiwan’s representative office in Washington said the two sides signed an MoU to establish an “institutionalised dialogue mechanism”.

“Both sides also discussed a wide range of issues including science and technology, supply chain restructuring, 5G networks, investment review, infrastructure and energy, global health security and women’s economic empowerment,” it said.

There was no immediate statement from the US side, but in announcing the dialogue this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the talks would include efforts to ensure safe and secure supply chains and 5G security.

The dialogue, which self-ruled Taiwan hopes may lead eventually to a free-trade agreement, is part of increased US engagement with Taipei under the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump, which has angered Beijing.