The Catalyst for Stronger US-Taiwan Ties
How Under Secretary of State Krach Became “Taiwan’s Number One Friend”
On September 17th, 2020, U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach landed at the Shung Shan Air Force Base in Taipei to become the highest-ranking State Department official to visit the island since the U.S. established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979. Wearing a face mask and giving his clasped hands signature salutation, Krach descended from a Gulfstream G-V jet to bump elbows with a greeting party of senior Taiwanese officials.
He was there to attend a memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui, who led the island’s transition to democracy and died at age 97. It is hard to overstate President Lee’s importance, who is considered to be the father of Taiwanese democracy and viewed by many as Taiwan’s George Washington. During his three-day visit, Krach would meet with high-tech business leaders and top government officials, hold discussions on creating a new economic dialogue, and attend a banquet in his honor hosted by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) founder Morris Chang.