U.S. Under Secretary of State Krach wraps up Taiwan visit

09/19/2020 08:31 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) American Under Secretary of State Keith Krach concluded a low-keyed visit to Taiwan Saturday afternoon, departing with his delegation less than 48 hours after they arrived for the memorial service of former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Shortly after the memorial service ended, Krach and his delegation departed from Songshan Airport in Taipei on a commercial charter flight at around 1 p.m., according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

"Krach fully utilized his time of less of 48 hours in Taiwan," MOFA said. "He met with high-level government officials and people from various sectors and held discussions with them on many issues."

MOFA and other relevant government agencies will continue to work with the U.S. on the issues discussed, to strengthen bilateral economic ties and to deepen the global partnership, which is based on shared values, according to the statement.

From left to right: United States Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, Director General of MOFA
From left to right: United States Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, Director General of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs Douglas Hsu (徐佑典), and American Institute in Taiwan Brent Christensen / Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Earlier Saturday, Krach attended the memorial service of late President Lee, who passed away on July 30 at the age of 97. That was the main purpose of Krach's trip, as stated in a press release by the U.S. Department of State.

Krach, the highest-ranking State Department official to visit Taiwan in more than four decades, arrived in Taipei on Thursday with several other U.S. officials from the Department of State and Department of Commerce.

During his three-day visit, he had called on Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and held a closed-door meeting with Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) and Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) on economic matters.

On Friday evening, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) hosted a banquet for Krach, which was also attended by Morris Chang (張忠謀), founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

TSMC, the world's largest pure wafer foundry operator, recently committed to building a US$12 billion plant in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Liu Pei-chen (劉佩真), a research fellow at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, told CNA Saturday that Chang's presence at the banquet was an indicator of the major role his company plays in the global supply chain.

The importance of that role to both Taiwan and the U.S. is evident, particularly at this time when Beijing and Washington are engaged in a technology war, Liu said.

Krach was the second senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in less than two months, after U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar, amid worsening U.S.-China relations due to a trade war and a power struggle in the Asia-Pacific region.

Krach's trip, however, was relatively low-keyed, as he did not visit the Presidential Office or MOFA's headquarters. He also did not hold any press conferences or issue any public statements.

(By Emerson Lim and Pan Tzu-yu)

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