A planned trip to Taiwan by US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft was canceled on Tuesday, along with all travel by the Trump administration’s State Department this week.
Craft was expected to begin her trip to Taiwan on Wednesday. The planned visit was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, who is looking to stoke tensions with Beijing as much as possible before Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Pompeo also announced last week that he was lifting the State Department’s restrictions on official US contacts with Taiwan that have been in place since Washington severed diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979.
Craft’s trip would have marked the third high-level US visit to Taiwan since August, when Health Secretary Alex Azar visited the island, making him the highest-level US official to do so since 1979.
Pompeo’s planned trip to Europe this week was also canceled. The State Department said travel was canceled so the department could focus more on the transition period and work with the incoming Biden administration.
A report from Reuters said some European officials chose not to meet with Pompeo, which could have led to the cancellation. Sources told Reuters that Luxembourg’s foreign minister and EU officials declined to meet with Pompeo over last week’s incident at the US Capitol Building.