EXCLUSIVE US weighs up on China’s sanctions to block Taiwan action, Taiwan puts pressure on EU

TAIPEI/Frankfurt/WASHINGTON, Sep 13 (Reuters) – The United States is considering options for a sanctions package against China to prevent it from invading Taiwan, the European Union coming under diplomatic pressure from Taipei to do so. According to sources familiar to, with discussions.

Sources said the separate lobbying by EU envoys in Washington and Taipei were both at an early stage – a response to fears of a Chinese invasion that have escalated as military tensions in the Taiwan Strait escalate.

In both cases, the idea is to take sanctions beyond measures already taken in the West to restrict some trade and investment with China in sensitive technologies such as computer chips and telecommunications equipment. read more

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The sources gave no details on what was being considered but raised questions about the notion of sanctions on the world’s second-largest economy and the feasibility of one of the biggest links in the global supply chain.

“The imposition of sanctions on China is likely a far more complex exercise than sanctions on Russia, because the US and allies have broader ties to the Chinese economy,” said Nazak Nikkhtar, a former senior US Commerce Department official.

China’s trade dominance

China claims Taiwan as its territory and last month after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, fired missiles at the island and sent warships across its unofficial maritime border, which Beijing called a provocation. seen as read more

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 the Communist Party Congress next month. The government of Taiwan strongly rejects China’s claims of sovereignty.

Responding to reports of a sanctions package, a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing warned against undermining China.

Spokesman Mao Ning said, “I would like to emphasize that no country or individual should undermine the determination and determination of the Chinese government and people in protecting national sovereignty, territorial integrity and realizing the unification of the motherland.” should not be judged.” Wednesday.

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

Both sources said US talks on sanctions began after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but were renewed after the Chinese reaction to Pelosi’s visit.

The United States, backed by NATO allies, took a similar approach to Russia in January with the threat of unspecified sanctions, but it failed to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from launching an 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-US official said.

Reuters was unable to know details about which specific sanctions were being considered, but some analysts suggested the focus could be on China’s military.

“Big picture, the initial sanctions talks revolved around reducing China’s access to certain technologies needed to sustain a military campaign against Taiwan,” said Craig Singleton at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The White House declined to comment.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it discussed China’s recent war game and the “great challenges” China presented to Taiwan and the region with the United States, Europe and other like-minded partners, but disclosed details. could not do.

Taiwan pitches for Europe

Taiwan had already breached sanctions with European officials after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but China’s recent military exercises have seen Taiwan’s position harden, six sources informed on Taiwan-Europe discussions said.

Taiwan’s top officials have intensified calls in recent weeks to prepare for sanctions. A recent Chinese white paper, which retracted Beijing’s promise not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if it took control of the island, prompted a resumption of its efforts with Europe. read more

Taiwan has not asked for anything specific, only for Europe to plan what action China might take if it does attack, a source briefed on the discussion, and to privately warn China from Europe. Said that he will have to face the consequences.

EU officials have so far shied away from imposing tough sanctions on China on human rights issues, as the country plays a far bigger role for the bloc’s economy than Russia, said another person familiar with the matter.

European sanctions would require all 27 member states to agree, which is often elusive; Consensus was also difficult in isolating Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, partly because its gas was important to Germany.

Sources say that all of Europe except the Vatican has formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, but not Taipei, although there have been extensive, private contacts between Taiwan and European officials.

Germany, the bloc’s economic engine, is “careful”, according to another official familiar with the discussion. “I don’t think Russia-Ukraine has fundamentally changed the way we look at our relationship with China.”

But there is growing concern in the German government about its economic dependence on China, as the economy minister on Tuesday promised a new trade policy and “no more gullibility”. 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 Honeycutt in Washington; Additional reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunstrom in Washington; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principals.

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