U.S. Department of State official Keith Krach is reportedly set to visit Taiwan. Although the U.S. has not issued any statements about his visit, Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua has expressed her welcome to any efforts that help deepen the mutual relationship.
It was previously reported that U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach would be visiting Taiwan from Sept. 17 to Sept. 19 and participate in a bilateral economic and commercial dialogue.
Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce Chairperson Lin Por-fong said he received an invitation from the American Institute in Taiwan to attend events related to Krach's visit. He added that it is not necessarily beneficial for Taiwan for the U.S. to send high-level officials, because the higher the level is, the fewer advantages that Taiwan will have. He therefore expressed concerns over this visit. In response, Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua said she welcomes Krach to visit Taiwan and dismissed the concerns expressed by Lin.
I think there is none of this so-called "the higher the official, the more they will want" in this cooperation. Moreover, we actually very much welcome Krach leading a delegation on a visit. It's very symbolic and significant for Taiwan to have such a high-level visit.
Wang added that she will share details about the dialogue once they are confirmed. So far, the U.S. Department of State has not said a single word about Krach's visit to Taiwan. It remains a possibility that the meeting will take place virtually, though neither side has commented. Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu delivered a speech via video to Washington-based think tank Global Taiwan Institute. He said Taiwan has lifted restrictions on imports of U.S. pork and beef, and therefore talks on a bilateral trade agreement can be initiated.
Our move will be an important starting point for more comprehensive Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation. We sincerely hope that these will open doors and pave the way for substantive talks and closer trade ties, including a BTA.
Wu also said that Taiwan is on the frontline when it comes to defending democracy and is facing military and economic threats from China, as well as fake news. He said Taiwan would defend its free and democratic lifestyle and called for democratic countries to join hands to defend their common values and liberties.