Senior U.S. State Department official to visit Taiwan next week

Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Charles Rivkin, U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, is scheduled to visit Taiwan next week to discuss trade and economic issues, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Wednesday. During a visit from May 31 to June 3, Rivkin "will meet with senior Taiwan officials and the private sector to discuss a wide range of economic and trade issues of importance to the U.S.-Taiwan relationship," said the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties. He will also make remarks at the opening ceremony of the Computex Taipei trade show and will speak during the opening ceremony of the Future City Workshop at the Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base in Taipei, the AIT said. This will be his first visit to Taiwan. Rivkin heads the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which is responsible for managing trade negotiations, investment treaties, economic sanctions, transportation affairs, telecommunications policy, and intellectual property rights protection. He has held the post since February 2014. Rivkin announced his upcoming visit to Taiwan during a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs earlier this month. He also told reporters after the hearing that Taiwan is an "extremely important business partner" for the U.S. and that his visit to Taiwan is a "symbolic step." His visit to Taiwan 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). (By Elaine Hou)