Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged the Biden administration to take the “long-overdue” step of granting “diplomatic recognition” of Taiwan and declaring it a “free and sovereign country”.
Pompeo is on a visit to the self-governed East Asian island between 2 and 5 March, a trip announced by his host, the Taipei-based Prospect Foundation, last month.
“This isn’t about Taiwan’s future independence, it’s about recognizing an unmistakable already existent reality. That reality is, as many of your past and present leaders have made clear, there’s no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it’s already an independent country”, Pompeo said in a series of tweets.
“Its name is the Republic of China (Taiwan). The people and government of the United States should simply recognize this political, diplomatic, and sovereignty reality. The Taiwanese people deserve the world’s respect for a free, democratic, and sovereign country”, added Pompeo, who served as US secretary of state (April 2018-January 2021) under former President Donald Trump.
The remarks made by the ex-chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hold significance as they come a day after he was awarded the “Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon”, Taiwan’s top presidential honor, by President Tsai Ing-wen.
In January 2020, Pompeo scrapped the “Taiwan Guidelines”, which, among other things, had prohibited meetings between US and Taiwanese officials at the White House or the State Department and barred any American official from referring to the Chinese province as a “country”.
Pompeo, along with 27 other high-profile Americans, was slapped with sanctions by Beijing on 20 January 2021, for promoting a “series of crazy moves”. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the moves had “gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-US relations”.
Pompeo’s current visit was described as “shameless and futile” by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a regular briefing on 3 March.