| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

U.S. considers China sanctions to deter Taiwan action, Taiwan presses EU

According to individuals involved with the conversations, the US is evaluating alternatives for a sanctions package against China to dissuade it from invading Taiwan, while the European Union is under diplomatic pressure from Taipei to do the same.

According to the sources, the discussions in Washington and Taipei’s separate lobbying of EU envoys are both in their early stages, as a response to growing worries of a Chinese invasion in the Taiwan Strait.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and last month fired missiles over the island and sailed warships across their unofficial sea frontier after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in what Beijing saw as a provocation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring democratically-governed Taiwan under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force. He is set to secure a third, five-year leadership term at a Communist Party congress next month. Taiwan’s government strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

In Washington, officials are considering options for a possible package of sanctions against China to deter Xi from attempting to invade Taiwan, said a U.S. official and an official from a country in close coordination with Washington.

U.S. talks over sanctions began after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but took on fresh 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 a threat of unspecified sanctions but this failed to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from launching his invasion of Ukraine.

The White House is focused on getting countries on the same page, including coordinating between Europe and Asia, and avoiding provoking Beijing, the non-U.S. official said.

Reuters was unable to learn details on what specific sanctions were under consideration, but some analysts suggested China’s military could be the focus.

“Big picture,” said Craig Singleton of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “early sanctions discussions would likely focus upon restricting China’s access to specific technology essential to sustain a military campaign against Taiwan.”

The White House did not respond.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry stated that it has addressed China’s recent war drills as well as the “huge concerns” China posed to Taiwan and the area with the US, Europe, and other like-minded allies, but could not provide specifics.

Requests for comment were not immediately responded to by China’s Foreign Ministry or the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

  • Reuters