TAIPEI -- Kurt Tong, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, contacted President-elect Tsai Ing-wen Tuesday, but he declined to disclose what they discussed during their meeting. He did not answer questions when asked if their discussions touched upon Taiwan's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade bloc or the issue of Taiwan opening to imports of U.S. pork containing the leanness-enhancing drug Tong later spoke with President Ma Ying-jeou, during which Ma told him that stable cross-strait relations have been a major factor in the development of a constructive relationship between Taiwan and the United States.
Tong was scheduled to give a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce's annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet the following day.
Tong, who is visiting Taiwan from March 28-30, has been an economic affairs diplomat for the State Department since 1990, serving in South Korea, Japan, China and the Philippines, as well as in Washington, according to the American Institute in Taiwan.
He has previously served as deputy chief of mission in Tokyo and as U.S. ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).