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The U.S. and Taiwan agreed to boost trade ties, the first tangible results under an initiative announced last year that faces vehement opposition from Beijing and clouds the outlook for a visit to the U.S. next week by a Chinese commerce official.

The Taiwan initiative isn’t a formal free-trade agreement and doesn’t address thorny issues such as tariffs, but it’s part of a broader drive to deepen trade ties amid heightened tensions with Beijing. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has denounced the trade talks, saying any move to formalize such ties is a change to the uneasy status quo around Taiwan.

The agreement was announced hours after the Chinese embassy in Washington said Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao is scheduled to meet next week with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Washington and U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in Detroit.

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