In a major development, the State Department of the United States announced on Saturday that decade-old internal restrictions imposed on its diplomats, and officials, during their interaction with Taiwanese counterparts, would be removed.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo informed, “The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more.” Hailing Taiwan as a ‘vibrant democracy’ and a ‘reliable partner’, Pompeo emphasised that all ‘self-imposed’ restrictions would be lifted. “Executive branch agencies should consider all “contact guidelines” regarding relations with Taiwan previously issued by the Department of State under authorities delegated to the Secretary of State to be null and void,” he said in a statement
Today, I am lifting all self-imposed restrictions on executive branch agencies’ interactions with their counterparts from Taiwan. This action will benefit both of our great democracies. https://t.co/JmxE5jsZYf— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 9, 2021
The US State Department further stated that all sections of the Foreign Affairs Handbook, which restrict executive-branch engagement with Taiwan, other than the ones handled by the non-profit American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), would be considered as null and void. Hailing shared values of democracy, human dignity, and rule of law, Mike Pompeo added, “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.”
Taiwan thanks US State Department for its renewed foreign policy
Following the press release by the US State Department, the Foreign Ministry of Taiwan thanked the United States for removing self-imposed internal restrictions for executive-branch engagement.”I am grateful to Secretary Pompeo & State Department for lifting restrictions unnecessarily limiting our engagements these past years. I’m also thankful for strong bipartisan support in Congress for the #Taiwan🇹🇼 Assurance Act, which advocates a review of prior guidelines,” it tweeted.
… partnership between #Taiwan🇹🇼 & the #US🇺🇸 is firmly based on our shared values, common interests & unshakeable belief in freedom & democracy. We’ll continue working in the months & years ahead to ensure Taiwan is & continues to be a force for good in the world. JW 2/2— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) January 10, 2021
Taiwan Foreign Ministry further emphasised, “The closer partnership between Taiwan & the US is firmly based on our shared values, common interests & unshakeable belief in freedom & democracy. We’ll continue working in the months & years ahead to ensure Taiwan is & continues to be a force for good in the world.”
China threatens the US with ‘heavy price’
On Thursday, China threatened the United States with ‘heavy price’ if US ambassador Kelly Craft goes ahead with his upcoming visit to Taiwan between January 13-15. The Chinese envoy to the United Nations warned, “The United States will pay a heavy price for its wrong action. China strongly urges the United States to stop its crazy provocation, stop creating new difficulties for China-US relations and the two countries’ cooperation in the United Nations, and stop going further on the wrong path.”
However, the American UN mission informed that Kelly Craft would meet Taiwanese officials and continue their strong and ongoing support to Taiwan. Welcoming her visit to Taiwan, Presidential spokesperson Xavier Chang said that it symbolised ‘firm friendship’ between the two countries.