US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Taiwan a democratic success story and praised its allies’ decision to support the nation in a statement at the two-day 19th Micronesia Presidents’ Summit, which opened in Palau on Wednesday.
In the statement released by the US embassy in Suva — which covers Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu — one day before the summit opened, Pompeo highlighted Taiwan’s “commitment to democracy and open societies,” values he said were shared by the US and the five nations of Micronesia: Palau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru.
“Taiwan is also a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world,” Pompeo said.
“As [US] Vice President Mike Pence said, America will always believe Taiwan’s embrace of democracy is an example to be internationally supported,” Pompeo said. “We respect and support the decision those of you have made to continue to support Taiwan.”
The summit was attended by the heads of state of the five Micronesian nations, which — apart from the Federated States of Micronesia — all maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Pompeo’s statement came as China is beefing up efforts to gain dominance in the South Pacific and was regarded as a reminder by the US government of the value of maintaining formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, according to a Voice of America report broadcast on Thursday that cited diplomatic sources in Washington.
The report also quoted a political observer as saying that in addition to US National Security Adviser John Bolton, there are a number of Taiwan supporters on the White House National Security Council.
When Pompeo emphasized the US’ respect and support for continued support of Taiwan, he might have been “reminding” those that might be considering breaking ties with Taiwan, the report said.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016, five countries have switched diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
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