U.S. to hold economic talks with Taiwan this month - Pompeo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.

Reuters November 11, 2020 04:11:03 IST
U.S. to hold economic talks with Taiwan this month - Pompeo

US to hold economic talks with Taiwan this month  Pompeo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Undersecretary of State Keith Krach, who angered China with a visit to Taipei in September, will lead economic talks with Taiwan this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Pompeo told a news conference that Krach would lead the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue with Taiwan on Nov. 20. He said the talks would include ensuring safe and secure supply chains and 5G security.

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

Taiwan's representative office in Washington said Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi would lead Taiwan's delegation to the U.S. capital for the talks, which would be held both in-person and virtually.

"Other heads of related agencies will attend the talks through video," it said.

China has been angered by greater U.S. support for Taiwan, including recent visits by Health Secretary Alex Azar in August and Krach, the undersecretary for economic affairs, in September.

Krach was the most senior State Department official to visit Taiwan in four decades after being named to head a new bilateral economic dialogue with the island.

The United States, like most countries, has no official relations with Taiwan, which China claims as sovereign territory, but Washington is required under U.S. law to provide Taipei with the means to defend itself.

China stepped up military drills around Taiwan as U.S.-China relations deteriorated in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, which was won by President Donald Trump's Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Biden is due to take office on Jan. 20, but Trump has yet to concede defeat.

Taiwan has long sought a free trade agreement with the United States, but Washington has complained about barriers to U.S. imports. In August, Taipei paved the way for an eventual deal by announcing an easing of restrictions on U.S. pork and beef imports that is expected to take effect on Jan. 1.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Susan Heavey and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Paul Simao and Sonya Hepinstall)

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