He endured Japanese imperial rule, a lost limb in World War II, Chinese martial law and decades in exile to become a leading force for Taiwanese self-determination.
The trip by Keith Krach, an economic representative, defies Beijing’s opposition to formal exchanges. China sent two anti-submarine aircraft toward the island in response.
The mayor, Han Kuo-yu, had tried to win the presidency just months ago on a Beijing-friendly platform. His removal in a recall vote reflects a stunning reversal and a hardening of Taiwan’s attitude toward China.
Chen Chien-jen has embraced a rare dual role, using his political authority as vice president to criticize China’s response to the virus even as he hunkers down to analyze trends in transmission.