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US lifts sanctions on diplomatic relations with Taiwan

Washington/Taipei: The United States announced it had lifted restrictions on political cooperation between the United States and Taiwan. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement. Two days ago, the United States announced that its envoy to the United Nations would visit Taiwan. The subsequent statement is the second major blow to China over Taiwan. Although China has not given an official reaction to Pompeo’s announcement, the Chinese media has strongly criticised the United States.  

Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced lifting political sanctions on Taiwan as he said, ‘The US Department of State has previously imposed several tough sanctions on Taiwan, which is recognised for its strong democracy and as a trusted US partner. Relations of US political, military and administrative officials with Taiwan were restricted. The United States had taken the decision to appease the Chinese Communist regime. However, today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions.’ Also, Pompeo clarified that the guidelines the US State Department had previously issued for US-Taiwan relations are being revoked.  

This is the second major blow the United States has delivered to China over Taiwan in the last 72 hours. On Thursday, the United States’ UN mission had announced that Ambassador Kelly Craft would be visiting Taiwan in the next week. During his visit, the US envoy will be meeting with senior Taiwanese leaders and officials and discuss bilateral relations. This is the third official visit by a senior US diplomat to Taiwan in the last six months. Before Craft, US Secretary of Health, Alex Azar and State Department official Keith Krach had paid a visit to Taiwan. 

Mike PompeoTwo months ago, US State Secretary Pompeo had caused a stir when he said Taiwan was not part of China. Pompeo’s remarks made evident that the US had openly denounced China’s ‘One China Policy’. Even before Pompeo’s statement, the United States’ aggressive posture on the Taiwan issue was apparent. US President Donald Trump had taken a more proactive stance on cooperation with Taiwan.

The diplomatic mission the United States opened in Taiwan, the US National Security Adviser’s meeting with Taiwanese leaders, and increased defence cooperation are all seen as a part of Trump’s stance on Taiwan. President Trump had made the historic decision of supplying fighter jets to Taiwan after a staggering three decades. The United States has also increased deployments of aircraft carriers, destroyers, drones, reconnaissance aircraft and fighter jets in maritime areas near Taiwan. Last month, President Trump even signed the Taiwan Assurance Act.  

The successive decisions taken by the United States has made the Chinese Communist regime quite nervous. China’s military officials have been making bold demands to end the Taiwan issue permanently; asking for a direct attack on the island to take control of it. For that, China was found to have made large-scale military deployments as well. Furthermore, Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked the Chinese military to be ready for war with Taiwan. Given the events, the US seems to have intensified its diplomatic war against China over Taiwan. 

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