Senior US official for APEC visits Taiwan after trip to Papua New Guinea

Matthew J. Matthews came to Taiwan to discuss 'APEC priorities and other trade and economic matters‘ with Taiwanese authorities

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Matthew J. Matthews, U.S. senior official for APEC meets Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in June 2016 (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office)

Matthew J. Matthews, U.S. senior official for APEC meets Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in June 2016 (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Matthew J. Matthews, U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, visited Taipei Monday with the aim of discussing the Taiwan-U.S. cooperation and economic affairs in the Asia-Pacific with Taiwanese authorities, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

As a senior U.S. official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Matthews came to Taiwan for a brief one day, following his trip to Papua New Guinea for the forum's Senior Officials Meeting. Papua New Guinea will also host the APEC summit this year from November 12 to 18.

Without specifying whom Matthews would meet with, MOFA said he would be discussing the U.S. relationship with Taiwan and issues related to APEC.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), similarly, said Matthews’ visit would be concerned with exchanging “views on this year’s APEC priorities and other trade and economic matters of mutual concern.”

This trip marks the fifth time Matthews has come to Taiwan after assuming his current position. In 2016, Matthews visited Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) twice, once in June and the other time in December.

According to AIT, Matthew J. Matthews was appointed as head of Asia-Pacific affairs for the U.S. in 2015. In addition, he has served in Taiwan twice, as the deputy chief of the Economic Office at AIT from 1998 to 2001, and as the Science and Technology officer from 1989 to 1992.