Sunday, February 25, 2024

US lifts self-imposed restrictions on contacts with Taiwan

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Washington/Beijing, Jan 10: The US has lifted the “self-imposed restrictions” on contacts between American and Taiwanese diplomats and officials, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced, ending a long-standing policy to “appease” China.
The US move on Taiwan has angered China with the Communist nation’s official media on Sunday sharply criticising Pompeo and accusing him of “seeking to maliciously inflict a long-lasting scar” on bilateral ties, ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next American president on January 20. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
But Taiwan’s leaders assert that it is a sovereign state. In a statement on Saturday, Pompeo said, “for several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts.”
The US has maintained close ties with Taiwan since it split from mainland China in 1949 after the end of a civil war. But until recently Washington has avoided major displays of friendship so as to not antagonise Beijing, which continues to view the self-governing democracy of around 24 million people as an inseparable part of its territory.
Pompeo, a staunch critic of China, added that the US executive branch agencies should consider “contact guidelines” regarding relations with Taiwan previously issued by the State Department to be “null and void.”
“The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more,” he said. (PTI)

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