Taiwan

Trump's China bind

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Sources close to President Trump tell Axios that the White House is in a China bind: A trade deal with China is "tough to improbable" in this deteriorating environment, with escalating security tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Why it matters: The biggest tool Trump has to pump the economy and the markets is a trade deal with China. But if anything, senior administration officials have turned harder against China in recent weeks.

U.S. warship in Taiwan Strait as trade talks set to resume with China

The US Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) is seen docked at a port in Manila on March 14, 2016.
The U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from China Wednesday, Reuters reports — hours after China warned it hadn't ruled out using force to reunify the island nation with the mainland.

Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, and this incident comes as American and Chinese officials are due to restart trade talks, per Bloomberg. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to the self-ruled Taiwan — which China regards as a breakaway province.