US, Taiwan step up economic cooperation in new dialogue

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Flag of Republic of China, also known as Taiwan (MGN Image)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. and Taiwan are stepping up cooperation in a newly created economic dialogue, in another move from the outgoing Trump administration to increase official exchanges with the self-ruled island.

The two sides signed a five-year agreement establishing the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, which is meant to be held annually.

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The deal falls short of a long-desired bilateral trade agreement, but is a significant step that increases cooperation between Washington and Taipei.

China, which views Taiwan as its own territory to be reunited by force if necessary, has criticized such steps as provocation.

Taiwan and the U.S. do not have a free trade agreement. However, Taiwan in August announced the easing of restrictions on imports of American beef and pork.