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U.S. mulling timetable on senior official's Taiwan visit

U.S. mulling timetable on senior official's Taiwan visit

Washington, March 2 (CNA) The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) said Friday that it is studying possible options on when Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez will visit Taiwan in the future. Sanchez, who is responsible for international trade at the department, was scheduled to come to Taiwan for a three-day visit on March 4-6. The trip, however, has been postponed, with the U.S. side citing "unforeseen circumstances." Asked about the change in plans, Sanchez said in an email: "I had looked forward to my first trip to Taiwan and expanding on our commercial relations, however, circumstances beyond my control resulted in the postponement of my visit." He added: "The United States is committed to a robust and diverse trade and investment relationship with Taiwan, which is why I look forward to traveling to Taiwan at a more convenient time in the future. As our tenth largest trading partner, there is much we can do together," he said. Sanchez was replying to questions raised by CNA through an e-mail. His reply was e-mailed back by an official responsible for public affairs at the DOC International Trade Administration. Sanchez would have been the highest ranking official from the DOC to visit Taiwan since Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas came to Taiwan in 2002. Taiwan and the United States maintain no diplomatic relations but close trade partnership. (By Tony Liao and Elizabeth Hsu)