U.S., Taiwan pillars of democracy: America's U.N. ambassador

01/14/2021 04:45 PM
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Ambassador Kelly Craft (left) speaks to President Tsai Ing-wen in a video call. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office, Jan. 14, 2021
Ambassador Kelly Craft (left) speaks to President Tsai Ing-wen in a video call. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office, Jan. 14, 2021

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in a video call Thursday that the U.S. will always stand with Taiwan as "friends and partners, standing shoulder to shoulder as pillars of democracy."

In the video call, arranged after her original plan to visit Taiwan was cancelled, Ambassador Kelly Craft praised Taiwan as a model for the world, "as demonstrated by its success in fighting COVID-19 and all that Taiwan has to offer in the fields of health, technology and cutting-edge science," according to a tweet posted by Craft after the video call.

She noted, however, that it is unfortunate that Taiwan is unable to share its successes at U.N. venues, including the World Health Assembly, due to obstruction by the People's Republic of China.

"If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that more information, more transparency, is part of the answer," Craft said in the tweet.

For her part, Tsai told Craft that it was a pity that the latter was unable to visit Taiwan at this time, and she extended a welcome to the ambassador in the hope that she can visit the country soon, according to a press statement released by Taiwan's Presidential Office.

Tsai said Taiwan is a force for good in the international community and has the capability and resolve to contribute to global society.

Taiwan will continue its efforts to join the U.N. and its related agencies so that the world will know that Taiwan can be an important partner, the president told Craft.

According to the office, the video call, held on Thursday morning, was also attended by David Feith, deputy assistant secretary for Regional and Security Policy and the Multilateral Affairs at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the U.S. State Department, and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen, among others.

The two sides had an in-depth conversation concerning Taiwan's international participation, deepening Taiwan-U.S. cooperation, sharing democratic values, and educational research exchanges, according to the press release.

Craft was originally set to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, but the trip was canceled at the last minute in compliance with the State Department's latest travel directives.

The State Department announced Tuesday that all planned travel by its officials, including a trip to Europe by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was being canceled in view of the transition of the department over to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's administration. According to her original itinerary, Craft was set to have met Tsai at the Presidential Office on Thursday before giving a speech later in the day at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs under Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was later to have joined Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) for a joint meeting with the press.

The last time an incumbent U.S. ambassador to the U.N. visited Taiwan was in 1968.

Taiwan, whose official designation is the Republic of China, left the U.N. in 1971 when China took its place and has since been excluded from the body and its special agencies.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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