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US envoy to UN to visit Taiwan next week

Reuters Taipei | Updated on January 08, 2021

China opposes move, says US will pay a heavy price for its ‘wrong action’

The US’ ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, will visit Taiwan during January 13-15 for meetings with senior Taiwanese officials, the US mission to the UN said on Thursday, prompting China to warn they were playing with fire.

Beijing, which claims the democratically run island as its own territory, has been angered by stepped-up support for Taiwan from the outgoing Trump administration, including trips to Taipei by senior US officials.

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Chinese fighter jets approached the island in August and September during the last two visits — by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, respectively.

Strongest backer

“During her trip, the Ambassador will reinforce the US government’s strong and ongoing support for Taiwan’s international space in accord with the US one-China policy that is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three US-PRC joint communiques, and the Six Assurances to Taiwan,” the US mission said in a statement.

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While the US, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is the island’s strongest international backer and arms supplier, being obliged to help provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

China said it was firmly opposed to the visit.

“We wish to remind the US that whoever plays with fire will burn himself. The US will pay a heavy price for its wrong action,” its UN mission said.

Published on January 08, 2021

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