Fri, Mar 16, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Foreign ministry ‘optimistic’ on Pompeo selection

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it was “optimistic and hopeful” about bilateral ties after reports that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to be replaced by CIA Director Michael Pompeo.

At a routine news conference in Taipei, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Remus Chen (陳立國) said Pompeo was “an extraordinary friend” of Taiwan.

When Pompeo was a member of the US House of Representatives, he voted in favor of Taiwan’s participation in Interpol and the International Civil Aviation Organization, and sent a congratulatory note to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) after her election, Chen said.

The government was grateful to Tillerson for his contributions to the strengthening of the Taiwan-US friendship, he said.

At his confirmation hearing in February last year, Tillerson said that the US was committed to the “six assurances” and during his tenure he supported arms sales to Taiwan, Chen said.

Despite US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton’s comments earlier this month regarding recognition of Taiwan, the US Department of Commerce and US Small Businesses Administration senior officials have continued to visit the nation and show goodwill, Chen said.

“Taiwan and the US will continue to cooperate under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, regardless of future appointments at the US Department of State,” he said.

“Taiwan-US cooperation is based on the foundation of mutual goodwill and the two sides will keep improving the partnership on substantive issues,” he added.

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