U.S. ambassador to U.N. to visit Taiwan: Pompeo

01/07/2021 05:24 PM
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Image source: twitter.com/USAmbUN
Image source: twitter.com/USAmbUN

Update: U.S. envoy Kelly Craft's visit to Taiwan canceled

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) The United States ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will soon visit Taiwan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday (U.S. time), though he did not give an exact time on when the trip will take place.

In a statement released to show support to Hong Kong's democratic movement, Pompeo said Washington supports the Hong Kong people and "all who yearn for freedom."

"In that vein, I am pleased to announce the upcoming visit of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft to Taiwan, a reliable partner and vibrant democracy that has flourished despite CCP efforts to undermine its great success," Pompeo said.

"Taiwan shows what a free China could achieve," he added.

Asked to comment, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed the upcoming trip, saying that Taiwan and the U.S. are in talks to arrange the visit, without disclosing further details.

Craft will be the first U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to visit the country, according to a MOFA press statement.

The visit would mark another step up for the Taiwan-U.S. partnership and demonstrate the U.S.' strong support for Taiwan's international participation, it added.

Pompeo's statement was released after the Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested more than 50 pro-democracy advocates and harassed pro-democracy media outlets, citing the provisions of the territory's controversial national security law.

In the statement, Pompeo said the mass arrest in Hong Kong "is an outrage, and a reminder of the Chinese Communist Party's contempt for its own people and the rule of law."

"The United States will not stand idly by while the people of Hong Kong suffer under Communist oppression," adding that Washington will consider sanctions and other restrictions to those individuals or entities involved in executing this assault on the Hong Kong people.

Craft is known as a strong supporter of Taiwan and previously expressed support for the nation's inclusion in the U.N. system, saying that it is "cheating the world" not to have Taiwan participating in U.N. activities, during an address in September 2020.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) left the U.N. in 1971 when China took its place, and has since been excluded from its special agencies.

Craft also had lunch with Taiwan's top envoy to New York James Lee (李光章) on Sept. 16., 2020.

Craft later told the Associated Press that her "historic" lunch with Lee at an outdoor restaurant on Manhattan's East Side was the first meeting between a top Taiwan official and a U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

"I'm looking to do the right thing by my president, and I feel that he has sought to strengthen and deepen this bilateral relationship with Taiwan and I want to continue that on behalf of the administration," she told the Associated Press.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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