HomeEconomic IndicatorChina expands investigation into Taiwan trade, sparking election interference concerns in Taipei.

China expands investigation into Taiwan trade, sparking election interference concerns in Taipei.

China Extends Trade Probe on Taiwan, Election Interference Alleged

China’s Investigation into Taiwan’s Trade Barriers

China has extended its investigation into what it perceives as trade barriers imposed by Taiwan. The probe, initially announced by China’s Commerce Ministry in April, has now been extended for three more months, concluding on January 12th. Interestingly, this date falls just before Taiwan’s highly anticipated presidential and parliamentary elections. Taiwan has accused China of attempting to interfere in the electoral process, claiming that the investigation is politically motivated and a form of economic coercion.

Taiwan’s Accusations and WTO Norms

The Taiwanese government’s Office of Trade Negotiations has criticized the extension of the probe, stating that it highlights the political motivations behind China’s decision. The office argues that the extension violates the norms of the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which both Taiwan and China are members. They emphasize the need for bilateral trade issues to be resolved through consultation and urge China to refrain from politically manipulating trade matters.

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China’s Commerce Ministry Offers No Explanation

China’s Commerce Ministry has not provided any details or explanations for extending the investigation. This lack of transparency raises further concerns about the political nature of the probe and its potential impact on Taiwan’s elections.

History of Economic Coercion

This is not the first time Taiwan has accused China of economic coercion. Previously, China imposed trade measures on Lithuania after the European Union member allowed Taiwan to establish a de facto embassy in Vilnius.

Taiwan’s President and Vice President Positions

China has refused to engage in dialogue with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, accusing her of being a separatist. However, Tsai has consistently expressed a willingness to engage in talks with China, emphasizing that only the Taiwanese people can determine their future. William Lai, Tsai’s deputy and the current frontrunner in opinion polls, has also offered to engage in dialogue with China, despite being labeled a separatist by Chinese authorities.

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