Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Kelly Craft: US envoy's 'last-minute' Taiwan visit angers China - BBC News

Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to the UN

A top US diplomat's upcoming trip to Taiwan as Washington ends decades-old curbs on contacts with Taipei has again escalated Sino-American tensions.

Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to the UN, is due to arrive in Taipei on Wednesday for a three-day visit.

Her last-minute trip - days before Donald Trump's presidency ends - has incensed China.

Self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory, has hailed the shift in diplomatic relations.

Ambassador Craft's visit comes after a year of mounting hostility between Washington and Beijing.

The democratic island of Taiwan has been a major thorn in the deteriorating relationship. Under President Trump the US has established closer ties with Taipei - ramping up arms sales and sending senior officials to the territory despite fierce warnings from China.

Most recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would end the "self-imposed restrictions" on contacts between US and Taiwan officials that were introduced decades ago to "appease" the mainland Chinese government, which lays claim to the island.

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