Nearly 20 organizations yesterday called on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to use the opportunity afforded by US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft’s visit this week to pursue US support for Taiwan’s participation in the UN.
The groups, including the Taiwan United Nations Alliance and the World United Formosans for Independence, held a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei ahead of Craft’s visit from today to Friday.
She is to be the first US ambassador to the UN to visit since 1968, as well as the first US official to visit since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced the removal of all self-imposed guidelines on interactions with Taiwan.
Hopefully, Tsai would use this further normalization of ties to push for the nation’s representative office in the US to be renamed, as well as US support for its participation in international organizations, Taiwan United Nations Alliance honorary chairman Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said.
Pompeo’s decision was akin to a new start in Taiwan-US ties and could have long-ranging effects, he said.
It could also give US president-elect Joe Biden more bargaining chips when he assumes office on Wednesday next week, he said.
World United Formosans for Independence chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) said that Craft’s visit has invigorated Taiwanese, giving them a glimpse of a “new dawn.”
While meeting with the ambassador, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) should convey the wish of Taiwanese to join the UN and other international organizations, so she would be able to address them on the nation’s behalf, Twu said.
Coupled with Pompeo’s lifting of restrictions, Twu said he believes that Taiwan-US relations would reach a new height.
“‘UN to Taiwan’ has already been realized,” he said. “The next step is ‘Taiwan to UN.’”
The New Power Party (NPP) earlier in the morning held its own news conference at the party’s caucus office at the legislature to urge Craft to publicly support an official visit to Washington by the minister of foreign affairs.
The party has four main requests, NPP Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said.
Aside from a state visit by the foreign minister, the NPP also urged the US to take concrete steps to support Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly in May and the UN General Assembly in September, she said.
To build upon visits by high-ranking US officials last year, the party also asked that Craft support a visit to Taiwan by the US secretary of state, Wang said.
Lastly, the NPP asked that Craft support regular reciprocal visits by trade, health and defense officials, she said.
NPP chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) lauded the significance of Craft’s visit, saying that she hopes the party would have an opportunity to interact with the ambassador.
She praised Pompeo’s decision and expressed optimism that Tsai Ing-wen would have the chance to visit Washington before her term expires.
Craft is to “pay a courtesy call” to Tsai Ing-wen tomorrow, Wu said on Monday.
Wu said that he is also to meet Craft tomorrow, when she is scheduled to give a speech at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs.
“The main purpose of her visit is to discuss how to reinforce the US government’s support for Taiwan’s international participation, which is very important to us,” he said.
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