US-Taiwan sign new trade deal
The US and Taiwan signed a new trade deal on Thursday as tensions with China rise.
It is the first agreement under a framework for talks between Washington and Taipei called the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade.
The announcement comes ahead of a high-level global security summit in Singapore this weekend.
In recent years, the relationship between the US and China has become increasingly strained.
Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations said the agreement was signed on Thursday morning, US time.
Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi attended the event, held near Washington at the offices of the American Institute in Taiwan, the US government said.
The deal, which includes measures to streamline border procedures, is the first agreement to be signed under the new framework, which started last year.
The framework aims to strengthen economic ties between Washington and Taipei, and open Taiwan to more US exports.
Beijing has denounced the trade talks, as it does with all forms of high-level engagement between the US and Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory.
The deal was signed ahead of the Shangri-La Dialogue annual defence summit, which begins on Friday.