Never be let it be said that the State Department doesn't have a Taiwan policy! Foggy Bottom is sending an envoy to Taipei next week, although not the type of envoy you might expect.
Major League Baseball All-Star and Hall of Fame nominee Barry Larkin will visit Taiwan as a "sports envoy," along with former Montreal Expo pitcher Joe Logan, the State Department announced in a release Thursday. This will be the second sports envoy program for the Sports United Office of the Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
"During the six day trip, Larkin and Logan will visit Taipei-Hsien and Kaohsiung. The Envoys will conduct six baseball clinics, visit an orphanage and a school for at-risk youth and attend an exhibition baseball game between two Taipei high schools," the release reads. "They will also interact with ten youth from Taiwan who visited the United States in September 2009 on a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Sports United program."
The release makes no mention of the pending announcement of new arms sales to Taiwan. But hey, at least the State Department in on the playing field. And for what it's worth, baseball is wildely popular in Taiwan, though a series of scandals have set the game back in recent years.
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John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.