China’s state media lashed out at the latest move on Taiwan by the departing Trump administration, accusing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “seeking to maliciously inflict a long-lasting scar on China-US ties.”
A writer for the official Xinhua News Agency also said in a commentary on Sunday that the lifting of longstanding restrictions on US government contacts with Taiwanese counterparts proves that Pompeo “is only interested in stoking unwarranted confrontations, and has no interest in world peace.”
Another commentary posted online by CGTN, the English-language channel of state broadcaster CCTV, called Pompeo’s announcement “a cowardly act of sabotage” of the next US administration.
“The Trump administration, in its continuing efforts to burn the house down before leaving office, has crossed a dangerous red line with China days before incoming President Joe Biden takes office,” the commentary read in part.
Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
There was no immediate comment from the Chinese government on Pompeo’s decision to end State Department restrictions on how US officials can interact with Taiwan, which he said had been implemented to appease the Communist regime in Beijing.
“No more,” Pompeo declared in a statement Saturday. “Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions.”
Taiwan is a sensitive issue for China’s ruling Communist Party, which considers the self-governing island of 23.6 million people a renegade province that should be brought under its rule.
Under the one-China policy, the US recognizes Beijing as the government of China and doesn’t have 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 Pompeo’s announcement.
“We are expressing our gratitude toward the US for speaking out and supporting Taiwan,” Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters. “We also hope to interact actively with each other further, so that Taiwan could have an even bigger space in the international society.” SOVEREIGNPH