US Diplomat To Visit Taiwan This Weekend Despite China's Objections


US Diplomat to Visit Taiwan This Weekend Despite China's Objections

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th September, 2020) US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach will visit Taiwan this weekend to attend the memorial service for former Taiwanese political leader Lee Teng-hui, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, when asked about the possibility of Krach visiting Taiwan, warned that the move could do "serious damage to China-US relations." Last week, China's Global Times reported that Beijing will impose sanctions on any US officials that visit Taiwan.

"Krach will travel to Taiwan to attend the memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui on September 19," Ortagus said.

Krach, the highest-ranking US diplomat to visit Taiwan in years, is making the trip despite Beijing opposing official exchanges between Washington and the island. US and Taiwanese officials had been in consultations about Krach visiting Taipei to launch an economic dialogue, according to media reports.

Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said the US plans to sell up to seven major weapons systems to Taiwan.

The United States, along with many other countries, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and officially sticks to the "One China" policy. Nevertheless, Washington has kept informal relations with the island nation after severing diplomatic ties with it in 1979.