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Pompeo says U.S. lifting ‘self-imposed restrictions’ on Taiwan relationship

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures towards a reporter whereas talking concerning the counting of votes within the US election throughout a briefing, on November 10, 2020, on the State Division in Washington,DC.

Jacquelyn Martin | AFP | Getty Pictures

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday mentioned he was lifting restrictions on contacts between U.S. officers and their Taiwanese counterparts, a transfer more likely to anger China and enhance tensions between Beijing and Washington within the waning days of President Donald Trump’s presidency.

China claims democratic and individually dominated Taiwan as its personal territory, and recurrently describes Taiwan as probably the most delicate situation in its ties with america.

Whereas america, like most international locations, has no official relations with Taiwan, the Trump administration has ramped up backing for the island nation, with arms gross sales and legal guidelines to assist Taiwan take care of strain from China.

In an announcement, Pompeo mentioned that for a number of many years the State Division had created complicated inner restrictions on interactions with Taiwanese counterparts by American diplomats, service members and different officers.

“America authorities took these actions unilaterally, in an try and appease the Communist regime in Beijing,” Pompeo mentioned in an announcement.

“In the present day I’m asserting that I’m lifting all of those self-imposed restrictions,” he added.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, will go to Taiwan subsequent week for conferences with senior Taiwanese leaders, prompting China to warn on Thursday they had been taking part in with hearth.

Chinese language fighter jets approached the island in August and September over the past two visits: by U.S. Secretary of Well being and Human Companies Alex Azar and U.S. Beneath Secretary of State for Financial Development, Vitality, and the Setting Keith Krach, respectively.

America is Taiwan’s strongest worldwide backer and arms provider, and is obliged to assist present it with the means to defend itself below the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

“In the present day’s assertion acknowledges that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship needn’t, and shouldn’t, be shackled by self-imposed restrictions of our everlasting paperwork,” Pompeo mentioned.