- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The U.S. and Taiwan are moving forward with joint infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region and Latin America, officials said Wednesday.

The public partnership comes as tensions with China are quickly heating up. China has made several moves to cross the disputed midline of the Taiwan strait, causing Taiwan to scramble fighter jets, while Washington and Beijing have clashed on national security, human rights, technology and business policies.

“The Taiwan-U.S. cooperative partnership relationship has gone up another level,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

The announcement is all but set to escalate ongoing disputes with Beijing. China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has regularly reacted with a special concern to signs that the U.S. was bolstering the independence of Taiwan.

While more details of the partnership have not yet been published, the publication reported that the U.S. Treasury Department and Taiwan’s finance ministry intend to establish a working group to “identify and promote public and private sector collaboration in infrastructure investment.”

Although the U.S. has not established formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the de facto American Embassy in Taipei said the plan will support “quality infrastructure in emerging markets,” and build off of existing U.S. efforts in the Indo-Pacific region.

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