Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM-N, is visiting Taiwan on Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, his first trip to the island in a nearly a decade, after concluding a visit to China this week.
Dimon’s trip to Taipei, where JPMorgan has had a banking presence since 1970, comes amid heightened tension over the democratically-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own territory. Taiwan strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.
But China, which bristles at visits to Taiwan by foreign government officials, tends to ignore trips by business executives, who usually keep clear of politics.
“The Chinese are much more concerned about U.S. government contacts with Taiwan than they are with private firms and banks doing business,” said Andrew Collier, managing director at Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong.
“As long as executives steer clear of political statements, they should be able to pass the Chinese litmus tests.”
Dimon will meet bank employees and clients in Taiwan on his visit, said the source, who sought anonymity as the plans were not public, while adding that no meetings were planned with Taiwan officials.
A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment.
Bloomberg first reported the development.
“This is not a question of foreign affairs,” a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry told media on Friday in response to news of the visit. “China takes a consistent and clear stance on Taiwan issues.”
As part of his Asia tour, Dimon will also visit South Korea after the Taiwan trip, said the source.
JPMorgan has more than 500 employees in Taiwan, where it provides corporate and investment banking and commercial banking services, as well as managing public pension assets.
The bank is the seventh-largest M&A adviser, eighth-largest equity capital markets, and sixth-largest debt capital markets deal book runner in Taiwan by total deal value in the last five years, Refinitive data shows.
Trips to Taiwan by Wall Street officials are rare as they have a limited business presence there, compared to the frequent visits by U.S. tech executives as the island is a key producer of semiconductors.
Nvidia Corp’s Chief Executive Jensen Huang visited this week for a trade show, as did Intel Corp’s Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger last month.
Dimon’s last publicly-known visit to Taipei was in 2014, when he met then-president Ma Ying-jeou. But there was no plan for President Tsai Ing-wen to meet Dimon, her office said on Friday.
An official of the island’s Financial Supervisory Commission said there were no plans for a meeting with Dimon.
Dimon, who has boosted the bank’s presence in China in recent years, met this week with Shanghai’s Communist Party secretary Chen Jining, who expects the bank to promote investment in the commercial hub.
Dimon favours East-West “derisking” rather than decoupling, he told the three-day JPMorgan Global China Summit event in the city on Wednesday. The United States and China need “real engagement” on security and trade issues, he added.