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US ambassador to UN will visit Taiwan next week

Kelly Craft to stay in Taiwan for three days and reinforce Washington's support for 'Taiwan's international space'

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft. 

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan from Jan. 13 to 15 for meetings with senior Taiwanese officials, the U.S. Mission to the UN (USUN) said Thursday (Jan. 7).

On Wednesday (Jan. 6), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Craft will make a trip to Taiwan soon, without giving a specific date. However, since the incoming Joe Biden administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, the trip would have to occur in the next two weeks.

In a statement released Thursday, USUN confirmed Craft's visit and said it will take place Jan. 13-15. It said the trip will reinforce Washington's support for "Taiwan's international space in accord with the U.S. one-China policy guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-PRC joint communiques, and the Six Assurances to Taiwan."

Meanwhile, Craft is scheduled to deliver a speech on Jan. 14 at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, according to USUN. She will cover topics ranging from Taiwan's global contributions to the importance of its inclusion in international organizations.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday (Jan. 8) that Craft will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) during her stay. It described her as a friend of Taiwan and said she has openly supported the country's inclusion in UN-affiliated groups on many occasions.

The ministry also noted that Craft will be the first U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to visit Taiwan since it left the international body in 1971. It said the trip signifies enhanced U.S.-Taiwan relations and that the Taiwanese government will continue to partner with like-minded democracies to ensure global order.

Since she was sworn in on Sept. 10, 2019, Craft has been a strong advocate for Taiwan. In September last year, she had a meeting, which she described as "historic," with Taiwan's top official in New York, Li Kuang-chang (李光章), in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties.