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Taiwanese officials laud Pompeo's decision to lift curbs on US contact

ANI | Updated: Jan 11, 2021 05:52 IST

Taipei [Taiwan], January 11 (ANI): Taiwan government officials on Sunday welcomed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement of lifting restrictions governing official US contacts with the country, with many calling it the latest example of bipartisan commitment to deepening Taiwan-US ties, reported Taipei Times.
In a statement on Saturday, Pompeo said that executive branch agencies should consider all "contact guidelines" regarding relations with Taiwan previously issued by the Department of State under authorities delegated to the Secretary of State to be 'null and void'.
In Washington, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US said that the decision reflects the "strength and depth" of the Taiwan-US relationship.
"Decades of discrimination, removed. A huge day in our bilateral relationship. I will cherish every opportunity," Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim wrote on Twitter.
In addition, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu also took to Twitter to express gratitude toward Pompeo and the US Department of State for their continued efforts to lift restrictions on bilateral engagement, and also thanked the US Congress for its "strong bipartisan support" in passing the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, which instructed the executive branch to review its restrictions on high-level exchanges, Taipei Times reported.

Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said that the decision reflects the two nations' robust partnership.
"Building on this solid foundation, we will continue striving for bipartisan US support and to deepen the cooperative partnership between Taiwan and the US," he added.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese opposition parties were cautiously optimistic about the decision, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) saying that the next US administration's reaction "will be key."
"Most Taiwanese are pro-US. The KMT is the same... Whether Pompeo's announcement can continue into the [US president-elect Joe] Biden administration will be a key indicator," it said.
In his statement, Pompeo said that the US government took these actions of restricting contact with Taiwan 'in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing'.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades, reported CNN.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. (ANI)