Taiwan’s top diplomat makes rare visit to U.S. Capital Region: report

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, waves before talks with U.S. officials in Washington, Feb. 21, 2023. (Central News Agency / Kyodo News Agency)

TAIPEI (Kyodo News Agency) – Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu met with senior U.S. officials near Washington on Tuesday, marking the first visit by Taiwan’s top diplomat to the capital region since the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, local reports said.

Taiwan’s National Security Council Secretary-General Wu and Wellington Gu held a meeting with senior U.S. officials including Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the State Department’s top diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Krittenbrink, according to the Liberty Times and Taiwan’s Central News Agency. Press agency for closed-door talks.

The meeting was held at AIT’s headquarters in Washington, Virginia, and lasted seven hours, the agency said.

Since the severance of diplomatic relations, the United States has restricted visits by Taiwan’s president, vice president, prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister to Washington and its surrounding areas.

Wu’s trip to the capital region comes after the United States enacted the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018, which facilitated the exchange of visits by senior officials between the country and the self-governing democratic island.

Taiwanese newspapers reported that senior officials may have discussed U.S. arms sales to the island.

A visit by the Taiwanese delegation is likely to anger China, which sees Taiwan as its own.

Communist-led China and Taiwan have been administered separately since they were split by a civil war in 1949. Beijing considers the island a renegade province that can be united with the mainland by force if necessary.

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