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Sunak rejects calls from Truss to fast-track Taiwan’s entry to trading bloc

Rishi Sunak rejected Liz Truss’s call for Taiwan to become a trans-Pacific trade bloc.

The UK is preparing to join Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia, Chile and Japan.

China and Taiwan both applied to join, causing political tensions between the two governments.

Analysis PM must leverage trust in world stage to boost popularity at home


During her controversial visit in Taiwan former Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Ms Truss argued for Taiwan’s inclusion into the CPTPP.

Speaking to journalists before a G7 Summit in Japan, Sunak told them that he hadn’t “actually” seen the speech of Truss, but that “our approach to Taiwan has been long-standing, and it hasn’t changed”.

He continued: “And, again, this is an approach which is in substance and language completely aligned with all of our allies.”

The Chinese Communist Party would be angry if Taiwan was allowed to join the CPTPP. They see the island as a part of their territory and are growing increasingly concerned that they may seize the Republic by force.

The CCP has conducted a number of military drills in response to a recent visit to the island by US politician Nancy Pelosi .

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Truss : “You can’t trust a word that they say”

When asked if he would support Taiwan joining CPTPP Mr Sunak replied: “I believe that we have very strong unofficial relationships with Taiwan, just as do our allies.”

“I believe that our position will remain united, aligned and with our allies.”

Ms Truss also called for the construction of an ” economic NATO in the Pacific to counter China’s impact.

Sunak stated that he will “probably lead the session on Economic Security” at the G7 and that this topic would “increase the theme of discussion when you think about challenges and threats facing us now”.

Speaking about the UK’s physical presence in this region, he stated: “We are a growing and strong footprint in the Indo-Pacific security region.

“We are strongly interested in an Indo-Pacific that is free and open.

“We don’t believe in changing the status quo through force or coercion and we will work with our friends to make sure that this happens.”

The current Prime Minister also rejected calls by his predecessor to refer to China as a “threat”. Mr Sunak made the same call when he ran against Ms Truss last summer in the race to replace Boris Johnson.

The integrated review refresh of the government called China a “systemic and epoch-defining challenge”, while the foreign minister said that it would be ” a betrayal our national interests ” to isolate the authoritarian system.

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What could be the economic impact of a war between China and Taiwan?

Mr Sunak said that: “If we look at the language we used in the integrated review and the language of the Americans, Australians, Canadians, or the Japanese as we developed our strategies, we had a lot to talk about.”

The language is very similar, and I believe we are ultimately very well aligned.


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