TAIPEI: A US official has arrived in Taiwan, the island’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, adding that it could not provide details as the trip was not made public, although it denied a media report that the CIA chief was in town.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own home, reacted with fury when US Secretary of Health Alex Azar visited Taipei in August, followed by US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach in September, each time sending letters. combat aircraft near the island.
The Trump administration has stepped up support for Taiwan, including with further arms sales, alarming China.
In a brief statement, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry said there were frequent interactions with the United States and that “we welcome the visit of the US official.”
“But since this route has not been made public, based on mutual trust between Taiwan and the United States, the Foreign Ministry has no further explanation or comment,” he added.
However, he said in a separate statement that Taiwanese media reports that a delegation led by CIA chief Gina Haspel had arrived in Taiwan were false and that Haspel had no intention of coming.
The de facto US Embassy in Taipei declined to comment.
The United States, like most countries, does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, claimed by China, but is the Democratic Island’s largest international supporter and arms supplier.
Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said last week that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief of staff Andrew Wheeler would be visiting Taiwan. US media have said the trip is likely next month.
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