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US Negotiators in Taiwan for New Talks on Trade Pact

FILE - This photo taken on Nov. 5, 2018 shows the Taipei skyline at sunset.
FILE - This photo taken on Nov. 5, 2018 shows the Taipei skyline at sunset.

A high-level delegation from the United States is in Taiwan this week to resume negotiations on a new trade initiative between Washington and the self-ruled island.

The delegation, led by Terry McCartin, the assistant trade representative for China in the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, arrived in Taipei last Friday to begin four days of talks over the U.S.-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative. The initiative will cover 11 areas, including anti-corruption, agriculture, digital trade, environmental and labor practices.

The bilateral initiative was announced last June after the United States launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a new economic cooperation agreement with a dozen Asia-Pacific countries, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Taiwan was not invited to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework out of concerns from some nations that the self-governed island’s participation might anger China.

Beijing considers the democratically-ruled island part of its territory, even though it has been self-governing since the end of China’s civil war in 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces were driven off the mainland by Mao Zedong’s Communists. China has vowed to bring the island under its control by any means necessary, including a military takeover.