Taiwan Foreign Minister Held High-Level Meeting in Washington

Taiwan’s foreign minister traveled to the U.S. this week for an unusual high-level meeting with senior American officials in the Washington area.

Photos and video from Taiwan’s state-run Central News Agency showed Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and National Security Council chief Wellington Koo waving as they left the Washington headquarters of the American Institute in Taiwan, along with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other U.S. officials.

The meeting, on Tuesday, focused on national-security issues and lasted for seven hours, CNA reported.

Some media and political pundits in Taipei said the meeting represented a notable step in Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S. given the semiofficial venue of the institute—the U.S. office that handles Taiwan affairs, located in Arlington, Va., just a few miles from the White House.

“This is the first time we’ve seen the foreign minister travel in a public way,” said Vincent Chao, a member of the Taipei City Council who previously headed the political division at Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington. “These sorts of exchanges were kept low profile because of unwillingness to offend China.”

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman Jeff Liu told reporters Thursday that “Taiwan and the U.S. are maintaining close and smooth communication on issues of mutual concern.” Mr. Wu’s visit is among the signs of deepening ties between Washington and Taipei, he said.

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China, Taiwan, USA