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U.S cancels envoy’s visit to Taiwan due to transition

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A planned three-day visit to Taiwan, starting Wednesday, by Kelly Craft, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, has been cancelled as the U.S. State Department announced it has called off all high-level visits scheduled for this week.

In a statement on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said it was well along in its transition efforts with President-elect Joe Biden’s team.

“We are fully committed to the completion of a smooth and orderly transition process to be finalised over the next 8 days,” the department said in the statement.

Taiwan was originally about to greet Craft on Wednesday afternoon for her trip to the democratic island until Friday.

Craft was originally to meet with President Tasi Ing-wen and foreign minister Joseph Wu on Thursday.

In a statement released in Taipei, Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang on Wednesday said that Taiwan “respects” the U.S. decisions on the cancellation of all scheduled official visits and “feels sorry” to know that Craft would not be able to arrive as planned.

“We still hope that Ambassador Craft will come visit us at a proper timing,” Chang said.

Craft was originally scheduled to visit Taipei this week to “reinforce the U.S. government’s strong and ongoing support for Taiwan’s international space,”  according to the U.S. mission to the UN.

Beijing opposes any official contact between the U.S. and Taiwan.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.

In 1979, Washington cut diplomatic ties with Taipei and built relations with Beijing. (dpa/NAN)

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