US cancels UN envoy's trip to Taiwan, citing Biden transition
The US State Department canceled the planned Taiwan visit by its UN ambassador that has drawn strong opposition and a warning from China.
The department announced it was canceling all senior-level overseas travels, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to Europe, in a decision to assist with the transition to the next administration.
US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft was due to begin a three-day visit on Wednesday. It follows an announcement from Pompeo on Saturday that the US would remove long-standing restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that he and his colleagues have repeatedly stated China’s solemn position in recent days on the planned visit to Taiwan by Craft.
“I’d like to stress again that China is firmly opposed to any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan. This position is consistent and clear,” he said.
China urges the United States to abide by the one-China principle and provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, stop all official exchanges and military ties with Taiwan, and not to go further down this wrong and dangerous path, Zhao said.
“China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests,” said the spokesperson.
The canceled trips round off four tumultuous years of foreign policy under US President Donald Trump that tested Washington’s traditional allies.
The two-day stay in Europe would have been Pompeo’s last foreign trip but European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top EU officials had declined to meet with him.
Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn condemned Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.