TOKYO – President Joe Biden is expected to publish a list of countries to join the long-awaited Indo-Pacific trade agreement on Monday, but Taiwan will not be among them.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reaffirmed that Taiwan is not among the governments that have signed on to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a trade agreement that should allow the U.S. to work more closely with key Asian economies on issues including network supply, digital trade, clean energy and the fight against corruption. The U.S. president is scheduled to emphasize the launch of the framework during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday.
The inclusion of the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims on its own, would irritate Beijing.
“We seek to deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan, including on high-tech issues, including semiconductor supplies,” Sullivan said. “But we are pursuing this, first and foremost, on a bilateral basis.”
The framework is designed to create Biden’s economic strategy in the region. Matthew Goodman, senior vice president of economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, suggested that some Pacific signatories would be disappointed because the pact is not expected to include provisions for greater U.S. market access.
“I think a lot of partners will look at this list and say, this is a good list of issues. “I’m excited to participate,” said Goodman, a former director of international economics at the National Security Council during President Barack Obama’s administration. ”
Beijing, pending the launch of the pact, criticized US efforts.
“We hope that they will create an open and inclusive circle of friends in the Asia-Pacific region, rather than exclusive cliques, and do more for peace and development, rather than creating unrest and chaos in the region,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. Wang Wenbin. .
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