TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The unprecedented visit by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach was very productive and will lead to a deepening of the partnership, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday (Sept. 19) after the American delegation had left Taiwan.
Krach was the highest-level U.S. government official to set foot on Taiwan since the two countries ended formal diplomatic relations in 1979.
While earlier predictions saw his trip as focused on preparations for a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), the official reason was to represent the U.S. at a memorial service for late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). He also had dinner with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) and met with several government officials.
Krach and his delegation departed from Taipei Songshan Airport at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday after having attended President Lee’s memorial in New Taipei City, CNA reported. “The trip, which reflects the value of late President Lee’s contributions to Taiwan democracy, let both sides discuss key issues while strengthening the global partnership. Safe travels!” MOFA tweeted.
Even though Krach spent less than 48 hours in Taiwan, he exchanged ideas with senior government officials and representatives from all walks of life, MOFA said. The ministry predicted that economic ties between Taiwan and the U.S. will grow even closer, adding it would promote the deepening of their global partnership based on shared values.
Krach’s delegation also included Robert Destro, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor; Kelley Currie, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues; Ian Steff, assistant secretary of commerce for global markets; and Randall Schriver, former assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs and a frequent visitor of Taiwan.