World Media

China Threatens "Counterstrike" As US Lifts Taiwan Restrictions

The United States to end self-imposed restrictions on relations with Taiwan

A writer for the official Xinhua News Agency also said in a commentary that the lifting of long-standing restrictions on U.S. government contacts with Taiwanese counterparts proves that Mr Pompeo "is only interested in stoking unwarranted confrontations, and has no interest in world peace".

China maintains a claim over Taiwan, its island nation neighbor. In a week and a half in the United States, power will be handed over to Joe Biden and his government. "No more", he said.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan's representative office in the USA, said in a statement that the State Department's actions to further bilateral engagements "reflect the strength and depth of our relationship".

The announcement comes after the Taiwan Assurance Act, requiring the State Department to reassess such restrictions on US relations with Taiwan, became law in December 2020.

China has condemned the United States for scrapping curbs on interactions with Taiwan officials, saying nobody could prevent the country's "re-unification", while Taiwan's foreign minister hailed the USA move as a sign of "global partnership".

Kelly Craft, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, arrives Wednesday for a three-day visit and is scheduled to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday morning.

In another action against China, Pompeo on Saturday issued a joint statement with the foreign ministers of the U.K., Canada and Australia in expressing "serious concern" about the arrest of 55 activists and politicians in Hong Kong last week.

"Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions".

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomed the move.

"The closer partnership between #Taiwan & the #US is firmly based on our shared values, common interests & unshakeable belief in freedom & democracy", he wrote, drawing a distinction with China's authoritarian one-party state.

"It is a force for good, and a United Nations without Taiwan's full participation is cheating the world", she wrote.

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, said then that "no matter what tricks" the Taiwanese authorities pulled, they could not "change the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory".

Pompeo insisted the US' job, as well as that of its state-run media such as VOA, must be to promote American values.

Pompeo's latest move to lift restrictions on official contacts with China's Taiwan region has once again proved that he, despite being America's top diplomat, is only interested in stoking unwarranted confrontations, and has no interest in world peace.

He further described it as a major boost for relations with the island's most important global backer.

"A huge day in our bilateral relationship".

The US switched its recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1978 as part of its opening of formal relations with China, although the Taiwan Relations Act spelled out how Washington would continue to informally support the capitalist government in Taipei in its fight to retain independence from Beijing.