Pompeo lifts 'self-imposed restrictions' on US-Taiwan ties

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that he is lifting self-imposed, decades-long restrictions on contacts between US officials and their counterparts in Taiwan.

While the U.S. still does not have an official relationship with Taiwan, Mr Pompeo announced the restrictions had been lifted to allow official contacts to take place.

Another commentary posted online by CGTN, the English-language channel of state broadcaster CCTV, called Pompeo's announcement "a cowardly act of sabotage" of the next USA administration.

China's state media has accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured) of "seeking to maliciously inflict a long-lasting scar on China-US ties".

A number of foreign critics, as well as former USA president George W. Bush, made the analogy after rioters stirred up by President Donald Trump rampaged through a session of Congress that certified his loss to Joe Biden.

Mr Pompeo noted the State Department had created complex restrictions over contacts between the USA and Taiwan which were taken to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. "Today's statement recognises that the US-Taiwan relationship need not, and should not, be shackled by self-imposed restrictions of our permanent bureaucracy", Pompeo said.

Taiwan is a sensitive issue for China's ruling Communist Party, which considers the self-governing island of 23.6 million people a renegade province that should be brought under its rule. However, it maintains unofficial contacts including a de facto embassy in Taipei, the capital, and supplies military equipment for the island's defense.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, is set to visit Taiwan this week to "reinforce the US government's strong and ongoing support for Taiwan's worldwide space", Pompeo announced last week. She is due to arrive on Wednesday.

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Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, noted that the current standing ranking provides an opportunity to reflect on the upheaval that characterized 2020.

Although Taiwan is officially recognised by only a handful of nations, its democratically-elected government has strong commercial and informal links with many countries.

"The Biden administration will rightly be unhappy that a policy decision like this was made in the final days of the Trump administration", Glaser said.

In August, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar became the first Cabinet member to visit Taiwan since 2014.

China, which opposes Taiwan having its own foreign relations, sharply criticises all such interaction.

Euan Graham, a senior fellow from the International Institute for Strategic Studies referred in a tweet to "the prim correctness around Taiwan nomenclature, all the do's and don'ts (and they were mostly don'ts)", adding, "Always in fear of a tongue lashing from the PRC representative at Asian security conferences".

China has condemned the United States for scrapping curbs on interactions with Taiwan officials, saying nobody could prevent the country's "re-unification", while Taiwan's foreign minister hailed the USA move as a sign of "global partnership".

Hu's tweet was later deleted, but the reason was not clear.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the USA in Washington, welcomed the news.

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