U.S. cancels diplomat's Taiwan visit

2021-01-13 12:35:12 GMT2021-01-13 20:35:12(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft's planned visit to China's Taiwan was cancelled on Tuesday, multiple media reported, citing a State Department statement released Tuesday.

Craft's scheduled visit to Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, announced earlier in a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has drawn strong opposition from Beijing.

"The United States will not succeed in its attempt to harm China's core interests through political manipulation on the Taiwan question," said the spokesperson of China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations. "We wish to remind the United States that whoever plays with fire will burn himself."

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing last week that Pompeo's statement seriously violated the basic norms of international relations, interfered with China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty, and violated the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and that China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it.

Michael Swaine, director of East Asia program at Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, called Pompeo's recent moves on Taiwan "dangerous and reckless."

"They threaten to destroy the foundation of normalized relations with the People's Republic of China, thereby greatly increasing the chances of conflict with Beijing," the renowned China expert warned in an article.

The abrupt decision was reportedly part of a wider cancellation of all travel by the U.S. State Department this week following the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters as lawmakers met to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pompeo said that all travel this week had been canceled, including his final trip abroad to Europe, citing transition to the incoming Biden administration.

Meanwhile, multiple reports said that the cancellation was due to declination from European officials to meet with the outgoing top U.S. diplomat.

According to media reports, Pompeo originally planned to visit Luxembourg and Belgium. Reuters said that officials in Luxembourg "showed reluctance to grant him appointments," and Pompeo's stop in Brussels would not involve any meeting with the European Union or any public events at NATO.

CNN later confirmed that officials in Luxembourg cancelled planned meetings with Pompeo, citing sources from the State Department. Enditem