Pompeo calls for US to recognize Taiwan as ‘free and sovereign country’

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the United States to recognize Taiwan as a “free and sovereign country,” hours after Pompeo met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who awarded him the island’s presidential honor.

“It is my view that the U.S. government should immediately take necessary, and long-overdue, steps to do the right and obvious thing, that is to offer the Republic of China (Taiwan) America’s diplomatic recognition as a free and sovereign country,” Pompeo tweeted on Thursday.

“This isn’t about Taiwan’s future independence, it’s about recognizing an unmistakable already existent reality,” he continued. “That reality is, as many of your past & present leaders have made clear, there’s no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it’s already an independent country.”

The development came after Pompeo was awarded Taiwan’s presidential honor for his work in strengthening relations with the democratically-run island. 

“Thank you, Secretary @MikePompeo, for your commitment to upholding our nation’s security & strengthening #Taiwan#US ties. This honour is a symbol of #Taiwan’s gratitude for your contributions to our partnership,” the Taiwanese president tweeted, showing a picture of the two together.

Similar to previous presidential administrations, the Biden administration does not recognize Taiwan as independent from China’s mainland, though the administration has at times had to clarify that stance following remarks from President Biden.

The remarks come amid the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which started last week. Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Taiwanese Cabinet rejected the idea that Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, may try a similar move to Russia.

“In all areas, the two cannot be compared,” Taiwanese Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng said on Monday. “But there are those using this opportunity to manipulate the so-called [topic] of ‘today’s Ukraine, tomorrow’s Taiwan,’ trying to inappropriately link Ukraine’s situation with Taiwan’s, disturbing people’s morale. This is inadvisable.”

Tags China Joe Biden Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Taiwan

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