US delegation arrives in Taiwan amid heightened China tension

Taipei, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The United States under-secretary of state for economic growth Keith Krach arrived in Taiwan Thursday for a visit amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Krach is due to attend a memorial ceremony for former president Lee Teng-hui this weekend and his trip will double as a message of continuing Washington’s “strong bonds with Taiwan and its vibrant democracy through shared political and economic values,” according to the US State Department.

Traveling as a member of Krach’s delegation was Robert Destro, the under-secretary for democracy and human rights.

The visiting US officials are due to remain in Taiwan until 19 September.

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen received the US delegation upon its arrival and tweeted: ”We appreciate you and your delegation coming all this way to pay your respects to our beloved former President Lee.

“We treasure our strong bond with the US, just as President Lee did, and hope to work with you to make it even stronger.”

On their final day of the tour, the US politicians are due to attend a memorial service for the late president, widely regarded as the father of democracy in Taiwan.

Krach became the most senior US official to visit Taiwan in 1979, when Washington officially shifted its official diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing.

US diplomatic visits to Taiwan rile officials in Beijing. China insists that Taiwan, which is officially part of the Republic of China, is part of its sovereign territory in line with its One China policy.

President Xi Jinping has not ruled out using force to bring Taiwan back under Beijing’s rule.

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