Taiwan and the United States held their first high-level meeting under a new economic dialogue on November 20, where they covered a broad range of economic issues including 5G networks and telecom security, supply chains, global health, science, and technology among other things. The two sides also inked a five-year agreement to establish an "institutionalised dialogue mechanism".
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen had recently called for a bilateral trade agreement with the United States and even though the memorandum of understanding signed is not related to that, many hope it to be a stepping stone. The meeting was held amid the much-talked-about US presidential transition period and also in the face of increasing Chinese threat in the region.
The US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership (EPP) Dialogue was held in Washington DC under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). As per reports, the EPP dialogue was led by the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach and Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua.
The EPP dialogue also covered issues such as Clean Network, investment screening, clean infrastructure cooperation, renewable energy, economic empowerment, education, and entrepreneurship.
"As a sign of continued and expanded commitment to science and technology collaboration, AIT and TECRO also announced their intention to negotiate a Science and Technology Agreement to advance joint understanding and collaboration on a broad range of science and technology topics," the US state department said in a statement.
China has, on multiple occasions, warned the United States of elevating relations with Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory. China wants Washington to adhere to the so-called 'One-China' policy while dealing with Taiwan, especially in the defence domain. To send messages to Taiwan, China carries out regular incursions across the median line and threatens to use its military might against Taipei.