Launching a scathing attack on China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he was lifting restrictions on contacts between American officials and their Taiwanese counterparts. In a statement, the top diplomat asserted that for several decades, the US had created “complex internal restrictions” in a bid to “appease” the communist regime. However, in his last days in office, Pompeo reiterated the incumbent administrations resolve to stricken its policies against China lifting all the unilateral sanctions.
Pompeo has been a staunch critic of the Chinese regime and many times voiced his opposition to Chinese policies. Earlier last year, he had supported President Donald Trump in labelling the coronavirus as ‘China virus’. More recently, he had threatened sanctions on the Jingpin administration if it continues to arrest pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. "No more," Pompeo declared in a statement. "Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions."
“The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions," Pompeo said in a statement.
The US under the Trump administration has ramped up its support for the island signing multiple arms deals and suppliers. The country is also obliged to provide it with means to defend Taiwan under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. Recalling the same, Pompeo stressed that US-Taiwan relationships should not be shackled by sanctions.
"The United States government maintains relationships with unofficial partners around the world, and Taiwan is no exception. Today’s statement recognizes that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship need not, and should not, be shackled by self-imposed restrictions of our permanent bureaucracy," Pompeo said. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese government has welcomed the move asserting that the lift would end “decades of discrimination”. “A huge day in our bilateral relationship. I will cherish every opportunity," Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan's de facto ambassador in Washington, tweeted.
China has long been stepping up its threats to bring the self-governing island under its control by military force with frequent war games and aerial patrols. It has been using its diplomatic clout to stop Taiwan from joining any organisations that require statehood for membership. It announced on Thursday that UN Ambassador Kelly Craft would go to Taiwan, a move that sparked sharp criticism from Beijing and a warning that the US would pay a heavy price.