The United States is looking to strengthen its economic partnership with Taiwan "on a bilateral basis", White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
US President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a list of nations who will be joining a long anticipated Indo-Pacific trade pact as he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, but Taiwan won't be among them.
While the US president is slated to highlight the launch of the framework on Monday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed on Sunday that Taiwan isn't included in the launch of the pact.
"We are looking to deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan including on high technology issues, including on semiconductor supply," Sullivan said.
“But we’re pursuing that in the first instance on a bilateral basis."
Inclusion of the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, would have irked Beijing.
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'China hopes the pact does more for peace'
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a trade pact that's meant to allow the US to work more closely with key Asian economies on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anticorruption.
The framework is meant to establish Biden’s economic strategy for the region.
Beijing, in anticipation of the launch of the pact, has criticised the US effort.
“We hope they will build an open and inclusive circle of friends in Asia-Pacific, rather than an exclusive cliques," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
China hopes the pact will "do more for peace and development, rather than creating turmoil and chaos in the region,” he added.
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