Taiwan's deputy defense minister to visit US: report
TAIPEI (AFP) Nov 23, 2002
Taiwan's deputy defense minister Chen Chao-min is planning to visit the United States next year on a trip which is bound to antagonize Beijing, it was reported Saturday.

Chen will attend a meeting of the US-Taiwan Business Council in Texas in February, with the talks centering on arms acquisition, the United Daily News said.

Taiwan's defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

The council announced Thursday that former US defense secretary William Cohen will succeed Frank Carlucci as chairman of the board of the council.

Cohen, who served in the Clinton administration, will take up his post January 1, the council said in a press statement.

The News compared the planned meeting to the "US-Taiwan Defense summit 2002" staged in St Petersburg, Florida, where Taiwan defense minister Tang Yao-ming met Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

The meeting was the highest-level direct military contact between Taiwan and the United States since Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of its territory, repeatedly protested to Washington over the trip.