The US should recognize Taiwan, says former top diplomat Pompeo

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech in Taipei
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech in Taipei, Taiwan, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Ann Wang

March 4, 2022

By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The United States should officially recognize Taiwan as a country, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday during a speech in Taipei.

“The United States government should immediately take the necessary and long-overdue steps to do the right thing and the obvious: namely, to offer diplomatic recognition to the ROC, Taiwan, and America as a free and sovereign country,” Pompeo said in a speech organized by a Taiwanese think tank.

Washington ended formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 by recognizing the People’s Republic of China.

Although Taiwan’s official name is Republic of China, politicians often add “Taiwan” in their public comments.

“While the United States should continue to work with the People’s Republic of China as a sovereign government, America’s diplomatic recognition of the 23 million freedom-loving Taiwanese people and their legal, democratically elected government can no longer be ignored, avoided, or treated as secondary,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo’s comments cross a sensitive red line for China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory and has never refrained from using force to bring it under Chinese control.

China says Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in its relations with Washington.

China imposed sanctions on Pompeo when he left office at the end of the Trump presidency last year, angered by his repeated criticism of the country, particularly its ruling Communist Party, and his support for China-claimed Taiwan.

On Thursday, he met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who presented him with the presidency honor.

China imposed sanctions on “lying and cheating” by Pompeo and 27 other top Trump-era officials when President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

Donald Trump’s administration gave strong support to Taiwan despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, including high-profile arms sales and visits to Taipei by senior US officials.

China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan over the past two years to force the island to accept its sovereignty.

Taiwan’s democratically elected government says it wants peace but will defend itself if attacked and that only the people of the island have the right to decide their future.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, writing by Sarah Wu; Editing by Michael Perry) The US should recognize Taiwan, says former top diplomat Pompeo

Bobby Allyn

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