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US ambassador to UN to meet with Taiwan's president during historic visit

Craft first sitting American UN ambassador to visit Taiwan since 1968

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U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Kelly Craft speaks during news conference at U.S. State Department in Washington. 

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Kelly Craft speaks during news conference at U.S. State Department in Washington.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During her historic visit to Taiwan, the American ambassador to the UN will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

On Jan. 6, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise announcement that Ambassador Kelly Craft would soon make a formal visit to Taiwan. The next day, the U.S. Mission to the UN (USUN) stated that Craft would visit Taipei from Jan. 13 to 15.

The visit will be historic for two reasons. Not only will Craft be the first sitting American ambassador to visit Taiwan since President Jimmy Carter severed relations with the country in 1979, but she will be the first to visit the nation since 1968, when George Ball stopped in Taipei as part of a far eastern trip.

On Monday (Jan. 11), Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told the media that Craft will meet with Tsai on Jan. 14, the second day of her itinerary. Wu said that he will also meet with Craft and that she will deliver remarks at the Institute of Diplomatic & International Affairs.

Wu said that the main purpose of Craft's visit is to discuss ways to promote Taiwan's participation in international organizations. Her speech will touch on Taiwan's contributions to the global community and the importance of "Taiwan’s meaningful and expanded participation in international organizations," according to the USUN.

Craft, 58, previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. She became the ambassador to the UN in September of 2019.

She has been one of the most vocal proponents of Taiwan in the Trump administration. During a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., last December, she called for Taiwan's full participation in the UN and described the country as a "true force for good in the world," while pointing out that China is known for "egregious examples of human rights abuses."


Updated : 2021-01-18 16:45 GMT+08:00