US ambassador to UN and Taiwan’s president meet virtually

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In this image, taken from a video screen, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, above, and US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft meeting virtually met on Wednesday evening, January 13, 2021. Craft in Taiwan was canceled but Craft told Tsai, “The United States will always stand by Taiwan.” (The United States Mission to the United Nations via AP) 1 of 2 In this image taken from a video screen, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, above, and the US Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, meet virtually on Wednesday, January 13 at night. , 2021. Craft’s trip to Taiwan was canceled, but Craft told Tsai, “The United States will always stand with Taiwan.” (The United States Mission to the United Nations via AP)

UNITED NATIONS (PA) – Her trip canceled in the last days of the Trump administration, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft instead met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen practically Wednesday evening and told him: “The States -United will always be with Taiwan. “

And although she steps down with the president next week, Craft said she still hopes to visit the autonomous island soon, calling Taiwan a “beacon and lodestar” for its science, technology and democracy.

The announcement last week of Craft’s visit to Taiwan drew fierce criticism from the Chinese government, which views Taiwan as a renegade province and has stepped up threats to bring the island under its control.

China quickly condemned the virtual meeting, saying, “The United States must understand that the attempt to challenge the one-China principle receives no support and is doomed to failure,” in a statement from a door – speech of the mission of China to the UN on Twitter.

U.S. relations with Taiwan have heated up under President Donald Trump, largely due to strong bipartisan support in Congress, but also because the administration has been prepared to defy threats from Beijing and promote Taiwan as than alternative to the authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Craft’s trip would show “what a free China could accomplish.” But on Sunday, he canceled all high profile overseas trips, including his own, to help with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the administration.

Tsai thanked Craft at the opening of the virtual meeting, which the Associated Press witnessed, “for the unwavering support for Taiwan’s international participation and for your efforts to deepen Taiwan-state relations. United and… for having always defended Taiwan most importantly. times.”

“The people of Taiwan have been inspired by your action,” Tsai said. “In the future, we will continue to push for our participation in the United Nations and in UN-affiliated meetings and events, and I hope the United States will continue to support our efforts.

Taiwan left the United Nations in 1971 when China joined, and Beijing used its diplomatic influence to prevent Taiwan from joining organizations that require statehood to become a member.

Craft called Taiwan “an inspiration to the world,” saying a number of UN member states – which she did not name – “should look to Taiwan, not for opportunities in the world. exclude, but for reasons of aspiration ”.

“In all contexts, by the standards of the free world, Taiwan is a model of democracy, equality for women, innovation and scientific exploration, a staunch defender of human rights,” she said. .

“The United States stands side by side with Taiwan as the pillars of democracy,” Craft added.

Tsai said she was looking for Craft’s advice on how to …

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