Taiwan says US official is visiting, but gives no details

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said it had no further explanation or comment as the official's itinerary has not been made public.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said it had no further explanation or comment as the official's itinerary has not been made public.PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI • A United States official has arrived in Taiwan, the island's Foreign Ministry said yesterday, adding that it could not provide details as the trip has not been made public, though it denied a media report that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief was in town.

The Trump administration has ramped up support for Taiwan, including with new arms sales, alarming China.

In a brief statement, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said there were frequent interactions with the US and that "we welcome the visit of the US official".

"But as this itinerary has not been made public, based on mutual trust between Taiwan and the US, the Foreign Ministry has no further explanation or comment," it added.

In a separate statement, it said that local media reports that a delegation led by CIA chief Gina Haspel had arrived in Taiwan were untrue, and that Ms Haspel had no plans to visit. The de facto US embassy in Taipei declined to comment.

Taiwan's United Daily News published pictures of an unmarked private jet, which it identified as being a US military aircraft, arriving at Taipei's downtown Songshan Airport, and what appeared to be officials waiting at its VIP terminal.

Data on flight-tracking website planefinder.net showed a private flight arriving from Hawaii to Songshan Airport late yesterday afternoon, shortly before the United Daily News published the pictures on its website.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2020, with the headline 'Taiwan says US official is visiting, but gives no details'. Print Edition | Subscribe