The US’ top diplomat in France on Friday met with his Taiwanese counterpart at the US ambassador’s official residence, in a first since formal ties between the countries were severed in 1979.
The lunch meeting between Brian Aggeler, interim charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Paris, and Representative to France Francois Wu (吳志中) was announced in a post on the US embassy’s Twitter account.
At the meeting, Aggeler talked with Wu about “the long-standing friendship between the peoples of the United States and Taiwan, our common democratic values and the importance of Taiwan for the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific,” the embassy wrote on Twitter.
Aggeler also reportedly reiterated the US’ support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and other international organizations, while Wu expressed hope that the countries would continue to enhance their relationship on the basis of their shared democratic values, the embassy said.
The envoys’ meeting came just weeks after the US Department of State issued new guidelines encouraging federal officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move it said reflected the two sides’ deepening bilateral relationship.
Wu said the meeting showed the growing “normalization” of Taiwan’s interactions with its international partners.
“The US, from [former US secretary of state] Mike Pompeo to [US Secretary of State] Antony Blinken, has shown that it will no longer accept the threatening behavior that China has used in the past” to discourage interactions with Taiwan, Wu said.
Taiwan’s and the US’ top officials in Japan in March met at the US ambassador’s residence, while then-US ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra in January hosted his Taiwanese counterpart, Chen Hsing-hsing (陳欣新), at the US embassy in The Hague.
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