The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday unveiled three countermeasures should Beijing further step up its poaching of the nation’s diplomatic allies as it fights a protracted trade war with Washington.
Speaking at a weekly news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei, Department of North American Affairs Remus Chen (陳立國) said that the US-China trade war has become more complicated and confrontational, with neither side showing a willingness to engage in further negotiations.
The government has set three measures to mitigate the impact of a potential economic and political fallout from the trade war, Chen said.
First, Taiwan is to engage in “value-based” diplomacy with its diplomatic allies, as well as the US, Japan and other like-minded nations, as an escalating trade war could drive China to adopt an increasingly heavy-handed approach to wooing the nation’s diplomatic allies and limit its international space, he said.
The government would redouble its efforts to deepen ties with its allies while striving to enlist the support of like-minded nations to boost Taiwan’s international participation, he said.
Second, the government would continue its efforts to gain membership in the Japan-led Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and take advantage of existing trade frameworks, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement it has with the US and the SelectUSA Investment Summit, he said.
These measures are aimed at lessening the negative impact of the trade war, which Taiwanese businesses — as an integral part of the global supply chain — cannot avoid, he said.
Third, the nation would continue to work with the US in its Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) Strategy, in which Washington has repeatedly acknowledged that Taiwan has a critical role, he said.
The FOIP and the government’s New Southbound Policy share similarities, are mutually advantageous for Taiwan and the US, and complement each other well, he said.
The government would continue to demonstrate that it is willing and able to participate in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, to cement the Taiwan-US partnership and explore possibilities of cooperation in the Pacific region with like-minded nations, he said.
Quoting Premier William Lai (賴清德), Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said that there have been signs suggesting the possibility of a protracted trade war.
The Cabinet would follow instructions given by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her Double Ten National Day speech to pursue a path of “stability, adaptiveness and advancements” in its efforts to bolster the economy and ensure national security, Kolas quoted the premier as saying.
The government encourages local businesses operating in China to move their investment and operations back home or to nations targeted by the New Southbound Policy to avoid being affected by the trade war, and would continue to address the “five shortages” of water, electricity, land, talent and labor, the premier said.
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