US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday urged US governors to resist Chinese pressure to shun Taiwan, as he warned that Beijing was increasingly taking its diplomatic battle to the local level.
In an address to the National Governors Association in Washington, Pompeo said that US President Donald Trump’s administration would step up communication with state and local governments about dealing with China.
“Don’t make separate individual deals and agreements with China that undermine our national policy,” Pompeo said. “I know none of you would do so intentionally. Let us help you make sure we’re getting it right.”
Pompeo pointed to a threat last year sent to Mississippi’s governor that China would cancel investment over his visit to Taiwan.
“When it comes to doing business, I’m asking you to adopt a cautious mindset. In the words of [former US] president [Ronald] Reagan, when you are approached for introduction or a connection to a deal, ‘trust but verify,’” he told the governors representing the 55 states and territories.
He also cited a letter by a Chinese diplomat urging state governments not to congratulate President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on her re-election last month and a case in which a high school in Chicago withdrew an invitation to a Taiwanese representative to take part in a climate discussion.
“It’s one thing to pressure the secretary of state of the United States of America. It seems quite something else to go after a high-school principal,” Pompeo said. “It shows depth. It shows systemization. It shows intent.”
“While these might seem like local matters to some, the cumulative effect is of enormous national importance and international significance,” he said.
Pompeo also warned of Chinese pressure on local leaders not to meet the Dalai Lama, and voiced concern about state governments’ financial choices, saying that Florida’s pension fund has invested in a company with ties to surveillance in Xinjiang, where Beijing has detained more than 1 million Uighur and other Turkic-speaking Muslims.
China was pursuing a policy of exploiting US freedoms to “gain advantage over us at the federal level, the state level and the local level,” he said.
“It’s happening in your states, with consequences for our foreign policy and for citizens that reside in your states ... and affects our capacity to perform America’s vital national security functions,” he said.
Pompeo said the Chinese approach was organized and methodical, adding: “I’d be surprised if most of you in the audience have not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] directly.”
Beijing has denounced Pompeo’s comments targeting the CCP as vicious attacks and said any attempts to smear China or obstruct its growth were doomed to fail.
Additional reporting by Reuters
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts