President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation.
The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan.
On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need to focus on the transition to US president-elect Joe Biden’s team.
Photo: US Mission to the UN via AP
The virtual meeting was first reported by Chinese-language online news outlet Up Media and followed by three consecutive posts on Twitter from Craft.
“A great privilege to speak today w/President Tsai @iingwen. We discussed the many ways Taiwan is 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 & cutting-edge science,” Craft wrote.
“Unfortunately, Taiwan is unable to share those successes in @UN venues, including the World Health Assembly, as a result of PRC [People’s Republic of China] obstruction. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that more information, more transparency, is part of the answer,” she said in another post on Twitter.
“I made clear to President Tsai that the US stands with Taiwan and always will, as friends and partners, standing shoulder to shoulder as pillars of democracy,” she added.
In a video released by the Presidential Office, Tsai thanked Craft for “always speaking up for Taiwan at the most important time.”
“The people of Taiwan have been inspired by your action. They actually like you a lot,” Tsai told the ambassador, citing many examples, including Craft’s post on Twitter last year that supported Taiwan’s UN participation and showed a Formosan black bear doll with the ambassador.
Taiwan would continue to demonstrate that it is a vital partner to the world, Tsai said, expressing the hope that the US would continue to support the nation’s bid to join the UN.
The Republic of China left the UN in 1971 after the General Assembly passed Resolution 2758, which stated that the UN would henceforth recognize the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China.
As a result, Taiwan lost its Security Council seat, as one of the UN’s founding nations, and its representation at the global body.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Feith, American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), among others, joined yesterday’s virtual meeting, the Presidential Office said.
Asked whether Taiwan or the US proposed the videoconference, a source familiar with the matter said that the solution resulted from a joint discussion.
The timing of Craft’s planned visit was finalized last month, following her luncheon with Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York Director James Lee (李光章) in September last year and the US elections in November last year, the person said.
Additional reporting by staff writer and AFP
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MEETING: The statement by the former US representative came as Congress is poised to back US$10 billion to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities Former US representative Will Hurd yesterday said visiting Taiwan has made him realize that China’s “one country, two systems” framework is not a feasible solution for Taiwan. Hurd, who is visiting Taiwan with an international delegation, made the remarks when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. There is bipartisan support for Taiwan in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing that only the 23.5 million Taiwanese can decide the nation’s future, said Hurd, a trustee at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund think tank. Former German lawmaker Marieluise Beck said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed mindsets