TAIPEI: A high US diplomat attended the funeral for former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui on Saturday which featured a eulogy by Tibetan non secular chief the Dalai Lama earlier than wrapping up a go to overshadowed by Chinese language army workout routines.
Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for financial progress, power and the atmosphere, was the highest-ranking State Division official to go to Taiwan since 1979 when Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.
The journey, the second high-ranking US go to in as many months, sparked an instantaneous rebuke from China, which baulks at any recognition of Taiwan and has mounted a decades-long coverage of marginalising the democratic island.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of “military blustering” as Beijing carried out army workout routines on Friday close to the Taiwan Strait throughout Krach’s go to.
Chinese language fighters and bombers crossed the so-called median line dividing the Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone (ADIZ) for a second straight day on Saturday, Taiwan’s defence ministry mentioned because it scrambled fighters in response.
China’s “provocative actions have violated our sovereignty and seriously damaged the status quo of peace and stability in the strait and the region,” it mentioned.
Krach attended the memorial service for Lee, sitting subsequent to former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori, earlier than he is because of go away Taiwan after a three-day go to.
Krach didn’t make any remarks on the service whereas in a pre-recorded video the Dalai Lama praised Lee’s dedication to democracy.
“I admire his commitment to democracy and freedom … as his close friend I always remember him and as a Buddhist I always pray,” he mentioned.
Like Lee, the Dalai Lama can also be branded a “splittist” by Beijing which accuses him of looking for Tibet’s independence from China.
Lee, who died in July aged 97, was a towering determine in Taiwan’s historical past, serving to the as soon as authoritarian island transition to a vibrant democracy and later angering China by pushing for it to be recognised as a sovereign nation.
China considers self-ruled Taiwan a part of its territory, to be absorbed into the mainland — by drive if needed.
Beijing has ramped up diplomatic, financial and army stress on Taiwan for the reason that 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects its view that the island is a part of “one China”.
Washington’s elevated outreach to Taiwan below President Donald Trump has grow to be yet one more flashpoint with China because the nations conflict over a spread of problems with commerce and safety points, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, Krach held closed-door conferences with Taiwan’s premier and different high officers earlier than becoming a member of President Tsai for dinner at her official residence.
“I’m sure the productive discussions we had today will bring Taiwan & the US even closer together & open the door to further collaboration,” Tsai tweeted.
Trump has embraced Taiwan extra intently as a strategy to hit again at Beijing, particularly as he seeks re-election in November.
He has additionally authorized some main arms gross sales, one thing his current predecessors had been extra reluctant to do.
Revealed in Daybreak, September 20th, 2020