US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach is to visit Taiwan to host an economic dialogue next week, online media outlet ETtoday reported yesterday, although government officials refused to confirm a schedule.
The ETtoday report said that Krach is scheduled to visit from Thursday to Saturday next week and host a US-Taiwan Economic and Commercial Dialogue, citing anonymous sources.
The dialogue was first announced by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Monday last week in a statement, which said that the US and Taiwan would launch a new “Economic and Commercial Dialogue” platform, which would be hosted by Krach.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) on Wednesday last week confirmed that a dialogue would be held within the next year that would discuss topics such as semiconductors and 5G, strategies in the Indo-Pacific region and supply chain restructuring.
Asked yesterday about Krach’s visit, the AIT said that it could not confirm the schedule.
Wang also said that she could not confirm the details, adding: “The concrete itinerary has not been released yet.”
Asked if supply chain issues would be discussed, Wang replied: “Similar topics, yes. That will be under the purview of the US Department of State.”
However, there would be no discussion about the stalled Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), she said.
“The US Trade Representative [USTR] and the Department of State are in charge of different things. The USTR is the body we talk to about the TIFA, while the state department talks to us about strategic cooperation,” she said, adding that the state department is in charge of the economy and energy.
Wang said that the team to receive the delegation had yet to be determined, but that it would be chosen according to the composition of the visiting delegation.
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) did not directly confirm that Krach would visit, but did say that the two sides are ironing out the details of the dialogue, such as dates, format and agenda.
The Presidential Office hopes that the high-level talks would take place as soon as possible, Chang added.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also spokesman for the Central Epidemic Command Center, yesterday told a news conference in Taipei that the disease-prevention measures to be taken if Krach visits would be “very similar” to those taken for last month’s visit by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
The measures would include self-health management seven days before departure from the US, a negative nucleic acid test three days before departure and another on the day of arrival, Chuang said.
The center would arrange for the delegation to stay at a hotel that meets quarantine regulations, he said.
Members of the delegation, as well as government and AIT officials who come into contact with them, would need to wear a mask throughout the visit, he added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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