The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai.
Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg.
They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow.
Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm.
The flight landed at about 3:05pm at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), where the delegation was received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen and other officials.
“We hope you enjoy your visit & look forward to working together to strengthen the #Taiwan #US partnership,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Twitter.
Tsai is due to meet with the US officials at the Presidential Office in Taipei at 10am today and host a dinner with them at her official residence in the evening, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement.
Dodd is known for his friendship with Biden and he was a crucial advocate of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act, which took effect in 1979, Chang said.
Armitage and Steinberg served as deputy secretaries of state during the administrations of former US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively, he said, adding that they have visited Taiwan several times and have been friendly toward the nation.
Over the past weeks, the ministry had been exchanging opinions with its Washington counterpart about the visit, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said, without saying when the plan was finalized.
Biden sending a heavyweight delegation to Taiwan less than three months since his inauguration — at a time when many important positions in his administration are not yet filled — shows Washington’s consistent support for Taiwan and “rock solid” bilateral ties, the ministry said in a news release.
The delegation is to meet with Tsai, Wu and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to discuss many critical issues related to bilateral ties, it said.
Meanwhile, Kerry was to arrive in Shanghai yesterday evening and is to stay until tomorrow.
His visit marks the first to China by an official in the Biden administration.
Kerry is to travel to Seoul on Saturday, ahead of a US-hosted two-day virtual climate summit starting on Earth Day on Thursday next week.
Asked about the planned agenda for the meeting between Chinese Special Envoy on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua (解振華) and Kerry, and whether Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) would accept Biden’s invitation to the summit, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) on Tuesday said that no information could be offered at that time.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that