The United States and Taiwan launched the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership (EPP) Dialogue in Washington, DC, on Friday, to further existing economic cooperation and forge new economic ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.
Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu tweeted statements Saturday morning celebrating the launch of the dialogue.
“The United States and Taiwan are strong partners in defending freedom, advancing economic ties, and promoting our shared democratic values,” Pompeo wrote. “The American Institute in Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue strengthens our economic relationship even further.”
Wu wrote in response, “@SecPompeo, thank you, I couldn’t have said it better myself. The #Taiwan–#US Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue is another great step forward in a relationship going from strength to strength.”
.@SecPompeo, thank you, I couldn't have said it better myself. The #Taiwan🇹🇼 –#US🇺🇸 Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue is another great step forward in a relationship going from strength to strength. Let's keep doing good & building a brighter future for all. JW https://t.co/yUBNuvpUTj
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) November 21, 2020
On the U.S. side, the dialogue was led by Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, and the delegation included Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell and American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Director Brent Christensen.
On the Taiwan side, the delegation included Minister without Portfolio John Deng, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua, Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-Tsong, and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs C.C. Chen.
A State Department statement of the dialogue released Friday evening said:
The EPP Dialogue covered a broad range of economic issues including the Clean Network, 5G networks and telecommunications security, supply chains, investment screening, clean infrastructure cooperation, renewable energy, global health, science and technology, and women’s economic empowerment, education and entrepreneurship. As a sign of continued and expanded commitment to science and technology collaboration, AIT and TECRO also announced their intention to negotiate a Science and Technology Agreement to advance joint understanding and collaboration on a broad range of science and technology topics.
“Future EPP Dialogues will help strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship, further magnify the two societies’ respect for democracy, and strengthen our shared commitment to free markets, entrepreneurship, and freedom,” it said.
The dialogue took place despite increasingly threatening behavior towards Taiwan by China. China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and not a separate nation, has vowed to reunify Taiwan by 2050, including by force.
Last month, Beijing reportedly made potential preparations to invade Taiwan. Earlier this month, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warned Pompeo that it would “counterattack” any behavior that “undermines China’s core interests and interferes with China’s domestic affairs.”
The U.S. has committed by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself and has strong unofficial ties with the island, which is a vibrant democracy in contrast with communist-run China.
The State Department statement on the dialogue touted the “close relationship” between the U.S. and Taiwan:
The close relationship between the United States and Taiwan is rooted in our commitment to the defense of freedom and the promotion of democratic values. Our partnership is built on economic investment and shared people-to-people ties, and we share a vision for the world that includes the rule of law, transparency, reciprocity, prosperity, the protection of human rights, and security for all. These are the same principles that are embodied in the Clean Network, of which we both have the honor of being members.