Senior U.S. State Department official to visit Taiwan

Washington, May 14 (CNA) Charles Rivkin, U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, said Thursday that he will visit Taiwan at the end of this month to discuss economic issues.
Rivkin made the announcement during a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He told reporters after the hearing that Taiwan is an "extremely important business partner" for the United States and that his visit to Taiwan is a "symbolic step."
Rivkin leads the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. State Department that is responsible for managing trade negotiations, investment treaties, economic sanctions, transportation affairs, telecommunications policy, and intellectual property rights protection.
His Taiwan visit will follow those by Kurt Tong, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, and Robert Wang, U.S. senior official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Taiwan's Economic Affairs Minister John Deng last met Rivkin in February in Washington D.C.

(By Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)