Senior US diplomat wraps up Taiwan visit

20 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

TAIPEI: A top US diplomat attended the funeral for former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui Saturday which featured a eulogy by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before wrapping up a visit overshadowed by Chinese military exercises, reports AFP.

Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, was the highest-ranking State Department official to visit Taiwan since 1979 when Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

The trip, the second high-ranking US visit in as many months, sparked an immediate rebuke from China, which baulks at any recognition of Taiwan and has mounted a decades-long policy of marginalising the democratic island. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of “military blustering” as Beijing conducted military exercises on Friday near the Taiwan Strait during Krach’s visit.

Chinese 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 said as it scrambled fighters in response.