Taiwan said Wednesday it regretted a decision to cancel the visit there of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets that the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft cannot lead a delegation to visit Taiwan from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15 as scheduled," it said in a statement.
However, some analysts, including Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Taiwan might be "somewhat relieved."
"Taiwan doesn't want to create friction with the incoming administration. They would have preferred if this visit had taken place several months ago," she told Al Jazeera.
China hadn't responded to the cancellation as of noon Wednesday Asia time.
Taiwan's representative to the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim, confirmed the cancellation of Craft's visit. Craft would have paid a courtesy call to President Tsai Ing-wen Thursday. She was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu the same day.
The decision is a result of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden, the Department of State says. Craft will leave her post Jan. 20.
Craft was to have begun a two day visit to Taiwan starting Wednesday. Craft would have been the first incumbent U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to visit Taiwan since 1968 when George Ball made the trip. The U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 to open relations with the communist People's Republic of China.
The cancellation was part of the department's decision to stop all travel this week as a result of the transition of government. Also canceled was a trip to Europe this week of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"We are expecting shortly a plan from the incoming administration identifying the career officials who will remain in positions...on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials," State Department representative Morgan Ortagus said.
Pompeo announced Craft's visit to Taiwan Jan. 7 after Hong Kong police arrested more than 50 pro-democracy activists in the largest roundup of anti-China forces since Hong Kong passed its new security law June 30.
China was angered at the visit. It warned the U.S. it was violating the one-China principle and promised the U.S. would pay a "heavy price for its wrongdoings."