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US official's trip to Taiwan draws Chinese ire

US UNDER-SECRETARY of State Keith Krach began a three-day trip to Taiwan today, becoming the highest-level official of the US State Department to visit the island in decades.

The mission follows US ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft lunching with Taiwan’s top official in New York on Wednesday, the first time anyone in her role as met a senior Taiwanese official since 1971, when China’s seat at the United Nations passed from the Republic of China on Taiwan to the People’s Republic on the mainland.

Ms Craft said she was “looking to do the right thing by my president” by deepening relations with Taiwan, which China sees as a provocative attempt to undermine the one-China policy.

The Donald Trump administration has made high-profile overtures to Taiwan while escalating its global attack on Chinese trade and businesses.

The Chinese island of Taiwan was the last province to remain under the control of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party after the communist revolution that swept the country in 1949.

In 1950 the United States sent its seventh fleet to prevent the communists carrying the revolution across the Taiwan Strait, and the island has been self-governing since.

Both Taipei and Beijing assert their sovereignty over the whole of China, including Taiwan, and countries recognising one government are obliged not to recognise the other.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the visit “bolsters separatist forces and undermines China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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