Sunday 10th January 2021
US relations with Taiwan
Pompeo ends consideration for China
China does not like international relations with Taiwan. For decades, the USA therefore had only unofficial contacts with the island nation. US Secretary of State Pompeo ended this diplomatic practice shortly before the end of his term in office.
The US government is lifting self-imposed restrictions on how American diplomats and government officials deal with their contacts in Taiwan. “The United States government took these measures unilaterally to appease the communist regime in Beijing,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Not anymore.”
The move comes before a planned visit by the American UN Ambassador Kelly Craft to Taiwan, which is scheduled for January 13-15 and is sharply criticized by China. China is asking diplomatic partners not to have official contacts with the Taipei government. The communist leadership in Beijing only regards the democratic island as part of the People’s Republic, although it has never been part of it.
Foreign Office spokeswoman Hua Chunying told journalists in Beijing on Friday that some “anti-Chinese politicians” like Pompeo would do everything in their remaining term of office to undermine relations between the US and China. “We hope and know that those in the US will pay a heavy price for their wrongdoing.”
Taiwan has long been an important US ally
Pompeo said US government agencies should consider all previous State Department “contact policies” regarding relations with Taiwan null and void. “Today’s statement recognizes that US-Taiwan relations need not and should not be shackled by self-imposed restrictions on our permanent bureaucracy,” said Pompeo.
The atmosphere between the US administration of the elected President Donald Trump and the government in Beijing is tense. So far, the US and Taiwan have only had informal relations. In the Trump era, Taiwan has become Taiwan’s strongest international ally and arms supplier. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is responsible for implementing US policy towards Taiwan.