United States vows to boost Taiwan trade in response to China's 'provocative' behaviour

United States vows to boost Taiwan trade in response to China's 'provocative' behaviour
The United States has promised to boost its trade with Taiwan following what it calls 'provocative' behaviour by China after Nancy Pelosi's visit.
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Speaker Pelosi held a landmark meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai [source: Getty]

The United States will boost trade with Taiwan in response to China's "provocative" behaviour, the White House said on Friday, as it insisted on the right of air and sea passage through the tense strait.

A new trade plan will be unveiled within days, while US forces will transit the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, said Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific issues and an adviser to President Joe Biden.

The statement came after Beijing raged at last week's trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, launching its largest-ever military drills around the self-ruled island.

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Taiwan has accused China of using the visit by Pelosi, the highest-ranking elected American official to visit in decades, as an excuse to kickstart drills that Taipei called a rehearsal for invasion.

China views Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.

Campbell said Pelosi's visit was "consistent" with Washington's existing policy and that China had "overreacted."

Beijing used the pretext to "launch an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan to try to change the status quo, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region," he said.

"China has overreacted and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented."

In response to China's drills, the United States is reasserting its involvement in the area, while reiterating its policy of "strategic ambiguity" - diplomatically recognizing China while simultaneously supporting Taiwan's self-rule.

Taiwan's foreign ministry thanked Washington for its "firm support" in a statement on Saturday that pointed to Washington's "concrete action to maintain security in the Taiwan Strait and peace in the region".