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U.S. to unveil 'ambitious' Taiwan trade roadmap in coming days: official

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U.S. to unveil 'ambitious' Taiwan trade roadmap in coming days: official

Washington, Aug. 12 (CNA) The U.S. will soon launch an "ambitious" roadmap for trade negotiations with Taiwan as the latter faces intensified pressure from Beijing after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, a White House official said on Friday.

"We're developing an ambitious roadmap for trade negotiations, which we intend to announce in the coming days," Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to U.S. President Joe Biden and White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said.

Campbell made the comments in a statement he delivered, during a conference call, on how the U.S. is approaching what he described as China's "intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan" following Pelosi's 19-hour visit to Taiwan, which concluded on Aug. 3.

Campbell said China has used Pelosi's visit as a "pretext" to intimidate Taiwan, including launching missiles into the waters around the island, trying to change the status quo and jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region.

The U.S. will take calm and resolute steps across a range of areas to support Taiwan as China's actions are expected to continue in the coming weeks and months, Campbell said.

"We will not be reflexive or knee-jerk; we will be patient and effective," he added.

Taiwan and the U.S. launched the Taiwan-U.S. 21st Century Trade Initiative on June 1 for both sides to map out a pathway to negotiating and signing a trade agreement.

Following the first meeting regarding the agenda of the initiative on June 27, Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中) said that an announcement to officially kick off negotiations is expected to be made in August.

In addition to addressing trade issues, Campbell said the U.S. will continue to conduct standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.

"We'll continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows, consistent with our longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation," he said.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday expressed thanks to the U.S. government for its strong support for Taiwan and concrete actions to safeguard cross-strait security and regional peace amid the flare-up in cross-strait tensions.

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan marked the first by a sitting U.S. House speaker in 25 years, following her predecessor Newt Gingrich's visit in 1997.

A day after Pelosi's visit, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched intense live-fire military drills around Taiwan that lasted for a week.

Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified one day, also suspended imports of some Taiwanese food and agricultural products in retaliation against Pelosi's visit.

China strongly objects to other countries treating Taiwan as a nation, including sending high ranking officials to visit, and has accused the U.S. of violating its commitments to the "one China" policy, fueling Taiwan independence efforts and destabilizing the region by trying to change the status quo.

Taiwan's government, meanwhile, has called China's military exercises an "irresponsible act" that stirred up tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, and has urged the international community to support Taiwan.

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