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US deputy energy secretary to pay rare Taiwan visit
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Dec 7, 2011

US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman is to visit Taiwan next week, making him one of the highest ranking US government officials to visit the island in recent years.

Poneman is scheduled to arrive in Taipei on Monday as part of a tour of Asia, according to a statement from the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy on the island.

He will meet President Ma Ying-jeou, the initiator of Taipei's detente with former rival China, before leaving Wednesday, it said.

The trip follows a visit by Rajiv Shah, the chief of United States Agency for International Development, and could ruffle feathers in Beijing which routinely opposes any activity that enhances Taiwan's diplomatic profile.

However, Beijing did not publicly protest to Washington last week when Shah visited.

Washington switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but has since remained the leading arms supplier to the island.

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since 2008 when Ma of the China-friendly Kuomintang came to power on promises of beefing up trade links and allowing more Chinese tourists to visit.

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Taipei (AFP) Dec 3, 2011
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday stressed that he will not discuss unification with China as he sought to ease concerns on his Beijing-friendly policies in the run-up to his reelection bid. "I will not discuss unification (with China) when in office, I will not seek independence or resort to the use of force," Ma said in the first televised debate ahead of Taiwan's January 14 pres ... read more

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