Taipei, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) and a small delegation left for the United States on Monday where they will attend an unprecedented economic dialogue in Washington on Nov. 20.
“The aim of the first Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue is to step up two-way economic cooperation through dialogue,” Chen told reporters before departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
The dialogue is a “government-to-government” forum and will not be affected by a transition in power, he said, in an apparent reference to the recent election of Joe Biden as president who is set to take office in January.
According to Chen, the two sides will discuss issues covering seven fields, including a clean 5G network, global health care, supply chains, energy development and infrastructure investment.
“The holding of the dialogue underscores the establishment of an overall economic partnership between the two countries,” he said.
Asked whether Taiwan’s decision to allow imports of U.S. pork containing a controversial veterinary drug that has sparked widespread concern at home will cast a shadow over the forthcoming dialogue, Chen said the issue will not be discussed at the event.
The government has adopted measures to address the issue and has showed the global community its resolve to honor its promise and solve the problem, he said.
Asked whether he will relay the concerns of Taiwan’s people over U.S. pork to U.S. officials, Chen said freedom of expression is normal in a democracy, and the government will take the opportunity to let the U.S. know how the issue has been handled in Taiwan.
On whether the change in power in Washington will disrupt the continuity of policies to be discussed at the meeting, Chen said the talks are “government-to-government,” and policies discussed will apply no matter what administration is in power, he said.
“Therefore, the government hopes to continue this dialogue with the U.S. next year, as it has gained broad bipartisan support in Congress and the industrial sector in the U.S.,” he said.
Though Chen and a small group of officials are in Washington, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) and Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) will take part by video conference from Taipei.
The event will begin at 9 p.m. on Nov. 20 (Taipei time). The two sides are expected to hammer out a memorandum of understanding during the meeting.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel