U.S., Taiwan to hold economic dialogue on Nov. 20 (update)

11/11/2020 02:06 PM
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. CNA file photo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. CNA file photo

Washington and Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) The United States and Taiwan are scheduled to hold a dialogue on economic prosperity on Nov. 20, and State Department official Keith Krach will lead the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday (U.S. time).

Pompeo said at a news briefing that the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue will help the U.S. and Taiwan strengthen cooperation in several areas, from safe and secure supply chains to a clean and secure 5G network and health security.

"The dialogue signifies that our economic relationship with Taiwan -- a vibrant democracy and a reliable partner -- is strong and growing," Pompeo said.

According to Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the U.S., the dialogue will be held both in person and virtually as a precaution because COVID-19 shows no signs of fading.

Hsiao said Vice Economics Minister Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) will lead a delegation to Washington to attend the meeting in person while other high-ranking government officials will participate online.

"We welcome the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, which will help to further strengthen the robust economic relations between Taiwan and the U.S.," Hsiao said on her Twitter page.

In Taipei, Chen told reporters Wednesday the government is hoping to establish deeper and higher-level economic partnership with the U.S. and said the upcoming dialogue is different than trade talks held with the U.S. in the past.

The topics to be covered in the one-day event will include supply chains, 5G, science and technology, academic science, investment, and energy cooperation, Chen said.

Hanging over the dialogue is the U.S. presidential election, in which Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump. Trump, however, has refused to concede.

Pompeo even said Tuesday when asked about the election and the transition that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

Chen sidestepped the controversy when he was asked if his delegation would meet anyone with the Biden team and if the results of the dialogue would be accepted by a Biden administration once it took office.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs makes contact with the American government rather than specific politicians or political parties, and it "looks forward to" Washington continuing its policy, he said.

Chen did not expect, based on his experience, that there would be a big change to the U.S.' Taiwan policy after Biden takes office.

Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花), Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), and other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be in Taipei where they will join the dialogue via video conference.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised the Taiwan-U.S. Dialogue as substantial progress in the relations between the two countries.

Krach, the under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, previously visited Taiwan in September, in what was the highest-level visit by a U.S. State Department official in more than three decades.

The main purpose of the visit was to attend the memorial service of late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who passed away on July 30 at the age of 97.

But he also discussed the planned economic dialogue and topics such as Indo-Asia strategies, a global supply chain reshuffle and clean 5G networks with Taiwanese government officials.

The Nov. 20 event is being organized by the American Institute of Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington.

(By Stacy Hsu and Frances Huang)

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