Taiwan, US expected to hold talks on supply chains next month

USS Chancellorsville, according to a Facebook post by the U.S. Seventh Fleet late Saturday. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TAIPEI, Jan 21, 2021, CNA. A working group set up by Taiwan through the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership (EPP) dialogue is expected to meet with its American counterpart in early February to discuss economic cooperation in supply chains, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said Thursday, CNA reported.

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) made the announcement in an interview with a local newspaper published Wednesday.

Wang said that maintaining a strong relationship with Taiwan has bipartisan support in the U.S. and that the bilateral friendly relations are unlikely to change under President Joe Biden.

However, details of the meeting are yet to be discussed, as a U.S. government reshuffle is expected now that Biden has taken office, a ministry official said Thursday.

The U.S. and Taiwan held the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan EPP dialogue on Nov. 20, 2020, during which the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance cooperation.

The MOU is expected to create the foundation for future high-level annual EPP dialogues, to be held alternately in Washington and Taipei.

Through the EPP dialogue, the two sides agreed to set up working groups to cover issues that include global health security, science and technology, supply chains, 5G and telecommunications security, women’s economic empowerment, infrastructure cooperation and investment screening.

The working groups are expected to meet on an ad hoc basis to discuss present and future economic cooperation, according to the ministry.

Wang said in an interview with CNA Monday that Biden differs sharply from his predecessor, Donald Trump, on major foreign policy issues, noting that he is inclined to seek cooperation with U.S. allies on the international stage.

Under the current circumstances, deepening Taiwan-U.S. ties are a certainty, Wang added.

(By Liang Pei-chi and Evelyn Kao)

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