Thursday, 21 May 2020

Pompeo Congratulates Taiwanese President On Starting Second Term. Then China Threatens U.S.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent congratulations to Taiwanese President Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the beginning of her second term as president, noting, “Our partnership with Taiwan will continue to flourish.”
On Wednesday, Communist China issued a direct threat against the United States, with the spokesman for its Foreign Ministry fulminating that Pompeo’s congratulations would trigger Communist China to “take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the US side.”
Pompeo wrote, “Congratulations to Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the commencement of your second-term as Taiwan’s President. Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world. With President Tsai at the helm, our partnership with Taiwan will continue to flourish.”
Tsai Ing-wen responded, “Thank you @SecPompeofor your well wishes. The Taiwan-US partnership is strong & full of promise. I look forward to furthering our friendship based on our many shared values & interests.”
Ing-Wen added later on Tuesday, “I am honoured to once again take on the responsibility entrusted to me by the Taiwanese people as President. I know that no matter the challenges we may face, we will stand together in freedom, democracy, & solidarity.”
Pompeo’s congratulation of Ing-Wen triggered Lijian Zhao, the spokesman for Communist China’s Foreign Ministry, to issue a threat on Wednesday directed against the United States, stating that there was a “One-China” policy, and tweeting, “On Pompeo’s congratulation to Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration, we express strong indignation and condemnation. China will take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the US side.”
In December 2016, when President Trump was still President-elect and and not yet been inaugurated, Tsai Ing-wen shared an unprecedented phone call with him; the first with a U.S. president-elect or president since Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan in 1979. Tsai congratulated Trump for his victory in the presidential election. The Communist Chinese government was furious, issuing a diplomatic protest, which led the Obama administration to reassure Beijing that the United States was committed to the “One China” policy.
Trump vigorously defended the phone call, writing, “Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.”
Senator Ted Cruz issued a tweet supporting Trump while simultaneously slamming the foreign policy of the Obama Administration, writing,  “I would much rather have Donald Trump talking to President Tsai than to Cuba’s Raul Castro or Iran’s Hasan Rouhani. This is an improvement.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who has been a harsh critic of the Communist Chinese government, issued a statement at the time that read, “America’s policy toward Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, under which we maintain close ties with Taiwan and support its democratic system. I commend President-elect Trump for his conversation with President Tsai Ing-wen, which reaffirms our commitment to the only democracy on Chinese soil. I have met with President Tsai twice and I’m confident she expressed to the president-elect the same desire for closer relations with the United States.”

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