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US ambassador takes Taiwan black bear to UN

Formosan black bear spotted in UN ambassador Kelly Craft's bag

(Facebook, Taiwan in New York photo)

(Facebook, Taiwan in New York photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. ambassador the UN Kelly Craft on Thursday (Jan. 14) was spotted entering the General Assembly Hall of the UN with a Formosan black bear doll poking out of her purse.

Craft was originally scheduled to make a historic, formal visit to Taiwan from Jan. 13-15, but the trip was canceled at the last minute in order to carry out a "smooth and orderly transition" to the Biden administration. Instead, Craft met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) virtually on Thursday morning (Jan. 14).

During the conversation with Craft, Tsai mentioned that a photo of a stuffed Formosan black bear that Craft had shared on Twitter during the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF, 全球合作暨訓練架構) video conference last September was a "big hit" in Taiwan. Tsai asserted that the "small bear" not only symbolizes Taiwan but also "inspired our younger generation to learn about and join the effort to help Taiwan become a part of the United Nations."

US ambassador takes Taiwan black bear to UN
Closeup of the Formosan black bear. (Facebook, Taiwan in New York photo)

Later that day, Craft took to Twitter to say that it was a "great privilege" to speak with the president on the ways Taiwan has served as a model for the world during the pandemic and what it has to offer in the areas of health, technology, and "cutting-edge science."

She recognized that Taiwan has not been able to share these successes at UN venues, such as the World Health Assembly, due to "PRC obstruction." Nevertheless, she stressed that the "U.S. stands with Taiwan and always will, as friends and partners, standing shoulder to shoulder as pillars of democracy."

Later that afternoon, the Taiwanese representative office in New York posted a photo of the head of a stuffed Formosan black bear doll sticking out of Craft's purse as she prepares to ascend a staircase. In the description, it writes that she is on her way to the UN's General Assembly hall to deliver remarks on Model UN participants in Taiwan.