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Factbox: Recent Taiwan visits by top U.S. officials

(Reuters) - Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador at the United Nations, will visit Taiwan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday, angering China, which claims the island as its own territory with no right to state-to-state ties.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar gestures to the media in Taipei, Taiwan, August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang

This will be the third high-level U.S. visit to the democratic island since August, which have come as part of stepped up support by the Trump administration for Taiwan even in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.

Below are details of those trips:

ALEX AZAR

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar visited Taiwan on Aug. 9-12, the first Cabinet-level U.S. official to come since 2014 and the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades.

Ostensibly a visit to strengthen economic and public-health cooperation with Taiwan and support its international role in fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic, it infuriated Beijing.

China, which had promised unspecified retaliation ahead of time, sent air force jets close to Taiwan while he was visiting.

KEITH KRACH

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach visited Taiwan on Sept. 17-19 to attend a memorial service for former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui.

While far more low-key than Azar’s trip, China once again sent fighter jets to express its displeasure.

KELLY CRAFT

Neither the United States nor Taiwan have given details for the visit by Kelly Craft, Washington’s ambassador at the United Nations.

In a September post on Twitter, she called for Taiwan’s “full participation at the UN”, following a meeting with Taiwan’s de facto consul general in New York.

Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations as China says it is merely a Chinese province not a country and has blocked its participation.

Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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