Asian Stocks Higher As US-China Tensions Escalate

Asian stock markets rose Wednesday as traders watched for signs trade might be disrupted by U.S.-Chinese tensions over an American lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul advanced after Beijing announced a ban on imports of some Taiwanese goods but no immediate major penalties following the arrival of Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives. The mainland’s ruling Communist Party claims Taiwan as part of its territory and rejects foreign official contact with the self-ruled island democracy.

Taiwan’s Taiex shed 0.2% to 14,724.51 after Beijing announced a ban on citrus and some fish from Taiwan to show its displeasure at Pelosi’s visit. The mainland announced military maneuvers in areas surrounding Taiwan but no indication it might punish industries such as Taiwanese producers of processor chips needed by Chinese factories that assemble the world’s smartphones.

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