Taiba (Reuters) – The US ambassador to the Netherlands received a Taiwanese representative in the country at the US embassy in the first announced visit to a US government office since the foreign minister lifted trade restrictions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the change on Saturday, lifting restrictions on meetings with Taiwanese officials in the final days of the Trump administration before Democrat Joe Biden takes office on Jan.20.
China condemned the move, saying that no one could prevent China’s “reunification”. Beijing considers the democratic island its own territory, without any right to relations with the state.
The US ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra said on Twitter that the Taiwanese representative in the country, Chen Hsing-cheng, met him at the embassy on Monday.
He wrote, including pictures of them in the embassy building, “They made some history today: I welcome Taiwan Representative Chen to our embassy.”
“We are delighted that our colleagues at the State Department around the world can now welcome our friends from this vibrant democracy to the land of our embassy.”
Chen tweeted that she was very happy and honored to visit the embassy and said it was “the first time in my diplomatic career.”
The United States, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and previous interactions between officials from both sides have been limited to informal venues such as hotels.
China is angry at the intense US support for Taiwan under the Trump administration, including arms sales and visits by senior US officials to Taipei.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, will arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday for a three-day visit, which has also angered Beijing.
(Prepared by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Jerry Doyle)
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