Highest level visit in 41 years: US Secretary of Health arrives in Taipei

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport shortly before 5:00 pm this afternoon, marking the most senior US cabinet official to visit Taiwan since Washington broke off diplomatic relations in 1979.

Azar disembarked from a US Air Force C-40 shortly after landing at 4:48 pm, and was met by a delegation that included Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu and AIT Director William Brent Christensen . Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties wore surgical masks and did not shake hands.

The Secretary of Health and delegation will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Health Chen Shih-chung, and public health experts tomorrow, August 10.

The visit is intended to convey the US administration’s recognition of Taiwan’s success in epidemic prevention and control, according the US health department.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it sincerely welcomes Secretary Azar and his party for this historic visit, and believes that this trip will further strengthen the cooperation between Taiwan and the United States in epidemic prevention and medical care.

Members of a US delegation disembark at Taipei Songshan Airport August 9, 2020. Picture: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cover picture: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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