BEIJING (AP)-The outgoing Trump administration has criticized the latest moves by Chinese state media in Taiwan, accusing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “trying to maliciously cause long-term scars in Sino-US relations.”
A writer from the official Xinhua News Agency also said in a comment on Sunday that the removal of the long-term contact restrictions between the US government and Taiwan counterparts proved that Pompeo was “only interested in inciting unnecessary confrontation and not interested in world peace.”
Another comment posted on the Internet by the English-language channel CGTN of China Central Television (CCTV) stated that Pompeo had announced that the next US government was “deliberately sabotaging.”
The comment section read: “The Trump administration continued its efforts to burn down houses before the next term, and crossed the dangerous red line with China a few days before the outgoing President Biden took power.”
Biden took office on January 20.
The Chinese government did not comment on Pompeo’s decision to end the State Department’s restrictions on how US officials interact with Taiwan, which he said was implemented to appease the Communist regime in Beijing.
“Not anymore,” Pompeo announced in Saturday’s statement. “Today, I announced that I will remove all these self-imposed restrictions.”
For China’s ruling Communist Party, Taiwan is a sensitive issue. The Communist Party believes that this autonomous island with a population of 23.6 million is a rebellious province that should be ruled by it.
Under the single-China policy, the United States recognizes Beijing as the Chinese government and has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, it maintains informal contacts, including the de facto embassy in the capital Taipei, and provides military equipment for Taiwan’s defense.
Taiwan’s leaders welcomed Pompeo’s announcement.
Premier Su Dengchang told reporters: “We are grateful to the United States for expressing support for Taiwan.” “We also hope that we will further actively interact with each other so that Taiwan can have more space in the international community.”
He and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu thanked Pompeo on Twitter. He emphasized the values of freedom and democracy enjoyed by Taiwan and the United States, which are in stark contrast to China’s dictatorial one-party state.
Pompeo’s announcement came two days after he stated that he would send Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to hold a meeting in Taiwan this week. She is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
Kraft’s trip followed closely. In August, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was the first cabinet member to visit Taiwan since 2014, and in September it was Deputy Secretary of State Keith Krach.
China, which opposes Taiwan’s own diplomatic relations, strongly criticizes all such interactions. Last year, Taiwan intensified air patrols in Taiwan and used its diplomatic influence to prevent Taiwan from participating in international forums, such as the annual meeting of the World Health Organization.
Hu Xijin, the editor of China’s state-owned Global Times, said on Twitter that if Pompeo’s announcement is a new starting point for US policy toward Taiwan, it will also mark the beginning of the countdown to the survival of the Taiwanese government.
He said on Twitter: “(Chinese) fighter jets can fly over the island of Taiwan at any time.” “The choice of using military means to solve the Taiwan issue will also be on the table.”
Pompeo said that the United States maintains relations with unofficial partners around the world, and Taiwan is no exception.
Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report in Washington.