“The Trump administration has crossed a dangerous red line with China in its continued efforts to burn the house down before leaving office days before new President Joe Biden takes office,” the comment said in part.
Biden will take office on January 20th.
There was no immediate comment from the Chinese government on Pompeo’s decision to end US State Department restrictions on US officials’ interaction with Taiwan. He said this was done to appease the communist regime in Beijing.
“Not anymore,” said Pompeo in a statement on Saturday. “Today I announce that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions.”
Taiwan is a sensitive issue for China’s ruling Communist Party, which views the self-governing island of 23.6 million people as a breakaway province that should be brought under their rule.
As part of the one-China policy, the US recognizes Beijing as the government of China and has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, it maintains unofficial contacts, including a de facto embassy in Taipei, the capital, and supplies military equipment for the island’s defense.
Taiwan’s leaders welcomed the Pompeo announcement.
“We thank the US for speaking out and supporting Taiwan,” Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang told reporters. “We also hope that we can continue to actively interact with each other so that Taiwan has an even bigger space in international society.”
He and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who thanked Pompeo on Twitter, emphasized the values of freedom and democracy that Taiwan and the United States share – in contrast to China’s authoritarian one-party state.
Pompeo’s announcement came two days after he announced that he would be sending Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to Taiwan for meetings this week. She is supposed to arrive on Wednesday.