TAIPEI/FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The United States is considering options for a package of sanctions against China to deter it from invading Taiwan, with the European Union coming under diplomatic pressure from Taipei to do the same , according to sources familiar with the discussions.
The sources said deliberations in Washington and Taipei’s separate lobbying of EU envoys were both at an early stage – a response to fears of a Chinese invasion that have grown as military tensions have grown. are intensifying in the Taiwan Strait.
In both cases, the idea is to take sanctions beyond the measures already taken in the West to restrict certain trade and investment with China in sensitive technologies like computer chips and telecommunications equipment. Read more
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The sources did not provide any details on what is being considered, but the notion of sanctions against the world’s second-largest economy and one of the largest links in the global supply chain raises questions of feasibility.
“The potential imposition of sanctions on China is a far more complex exercise than sanctions on Russia, given the significant entanglement of the United States and its allies with the Chinese economy,” he said. said Nazak Nikakhtar, a former senior US Department of Commerce official.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and last month fired missiles over the island and sailed warships across its unofficial maritime border after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, traveled to Taipei in what Beijing saw as a provocation. Read more
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to bring democratically-ruled Taiwan under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force. He is set to get a third five-year term as head of a Communist Party congress next month. The Taiwan government firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.
Reacting to news about the sanctions package, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Beijing warned against understating China.
“I would like to stress that no country or person should underestimate the strong determination and firm will of the Chinese government and people in upholding national sovereignty, territorial integrity and realizing the reunification of the motherland. “said spokesman Mao Ning. Wednesday.
Officials in Washington are considering options for a possible sanctions package against China to deter Xi from trying to invade Taiwan, a US official and one country official said in close coordination with Washington.
US sanctions talks began after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but took on new urgency after the Chinese reaction to Pelosi’s visit, the two sources said.
The United States, backed by NATO allies, took a similar approach to Russia in January with an unspecified sanctions threat, but that failed to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from launching his invasion. from Ukraine.
The White House is focused on getting countries on the same page, including coordination between Europe and Asia, and avoiding provoking Beijing, the non-US official said.
Reuters was unable to obtain details of the specific sanctions being considered, but some analysts have suggested the Chinese military may be a focus of concern.
“Overview, initial sanctions conversations will likely revolve around restricting China’s access to certain technologies needed to support a military operation against Taiwan,” said Craig Singleton of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. .
The White House declined to comment.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had discussed China’s recent war games and the “great challenges” China poses to Taiwan and the region with the United States, Europe and others like-minded partners, but could not disclose details.
TAIWAN’S PITCH TO EUROPE
Taiwan had previously discussed sanctions with European officials following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but China’s recent military drills have seen Taiwan’s stance harden, six sources familiar with Taiwan’s talks told Reuters. and Europe.
Calls by senior Taiwanese officials to prepare for sanctions have intensified in recent weeks. A recent Chinese white paper, which withdrew a promise not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if Beijing takes control of the island, prompted renewed efforts with Europe. Read more
Taiwan didn’t ask for anything specific, only that Europe plan what action it might take if China attacked, a source briefed on the talks said, and asked Europe to privately warn China that she would face consequences.
EU officials have so far been reluctant to impose harsh sanctions on China over human rights issues because the country plays a much bigger role in the bloc’s economy than Russia, a said another person familiar with the matter.
EU sanctions would require all 27 member countries to agree, which is often elusive; consensus was difficult even to isolate Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, in part because its gas was essential for Germany.
All of Europe, with the exception of the Vatican, has official diplomatic relations with Beijing but not with Taipei, although Taiwanese and European officials have had numerous private contacts since the start of the Chinese military exercises, the sources said.
Germany, the bloc’s economic engine, is “suspicious”, according to another official familiar with the discussion. “I don’t think Russia and Ukraine have fundamentally changed the way they view their relationship with China.”
But the German government is increasingly worried about its economic dependence on China, with the economy minister committing on Tuesday to a new trade policy and “more naivety”. Read more
A spokesman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declined to comment.
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Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee in Taipei, John O’Donnell in Frankfurt and Alexandra Alper and Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; Additional reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Clarence Fernandez
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