“I’m looking to do the right thing by my president, and I feel that he has sought to strengthen and deepen this bilateral relationship with Taiwan and I want to continue that on behalf of the administration,” she told The Associated Press.

In Taiwan, Krach is expected to attend a banquet hosted by Tsai on Friday and hold discussions on a new platform for economic and commercial dialogue, according to Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim. He will also attend a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, the former president who led the island’s transition to democracy and who died at age 97 in July.

Krach’s visit has already been condemned by China, which opposes official interactions of any sort between other countries and the island.

On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged the U.S. at a daily briefing to “stop all forms of official exchanges with Taiwan, so as to avoid serious damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

Krach’s visit and Craft’s lunch with Lee are certain to exacerbate mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing over the COVID-19 pandemic, trade, technology, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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