Taipei [Taiwan], Aug 10 (ANI/Sputnik): US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar extended words of "strong support and friendship" from President Donald Trump to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen on Monday during a historic visit to Taipei.
Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for the first highest-level visit by a US cabinet official since 1979, when Washington switched its official recognition to the People's Republic of China.
"Thank you, President Tsai, for welcoming me to Taiwan today. It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from the United States to #Taiwan," he wrote on Twitter.
During the meeting, Azar congratulated Tsai on beginning her second term earlier this year.
"Under President Trump, the United States has expressed our admiration for Taiwan's democratic success in tangible ways," he noted, as broadcast by the Taiwanese administration.
The health secretary went on to commend Taiwan's successful fight against COVID-19, calling it "a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature" of its society and culture.
Beijing does not recognize Taiwanese independence, viewing the island as a part of China. Taipei similarly does not recognize the central government in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry earlier made a representation to the US in connection with Azar's visit. (ANI/Sputnik)