U.S. secretaries of state, defense unlikely to visit Taiwan: expert

Washington, April 2 (CNA) The United States will probably not include the secretary of state or defense in the delegation it will send to Taiwan to dedicate the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) office building, an expert on Taiwan-China relations said Monday.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), made the comment while discussing the impact of the Taiwan Travel Act on U.S.-China-Taiwan relations during a seminar held by the Stimson Center in Washington D.C.

Glaser described the Taiwan Travel Act, which promotes meetings and visits between high-ranking American and Taiwanese government officials, as marking a fundamental, new direction for the development of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

The legislation's impact will probably first be tested when the new AIT office complex in Neihu is opened, currently scheduled for June.

Glaser said she believed the delegation sent by the U.S. for the ceremony will include a Cabinet-level official but doubted that the official will be the secretary of state or defense.

"Personally, I doubt that this administration is going to send a high-level official to Taiwan with the sole purpose of provoking Beijing," she said.

Glaser said that to the best of her knowledge, China does not really care about which U.S. officials visit Taiwan but does care about Taiwan's president, defense minister or foreign affairs minister going to the United States.

The last time a Cabinet-level U.S. official visited Taiwan was when then U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy did so in 2014. She was the first Cabinet-level U.S. official to visit the nation in 14 years.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel