Taiwan’s representative to Switzerland on Thursday met with his US counterpart, the latest Taiwanese diplomat to meet a US official after Washington ended its restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan on Jan. 9.
The meeting was revealed on Friday when US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Edward McMullen wrote on Twitter that he was delighted to have officially met with Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Switzerland Director David Huang (黃偉峰).
The US and Taiwan share common values of freedom, rule of law and respect for human dignity, McMullen wrote.
Huang on Saturday said that McMullen invited him to meet at the US embassy in Switzerland shortly after the US lifted its ban on official contacts with Taiwan.
During the meeting, Huang said he extended Taiwan’s appreciation to the US for the support it has shown to Taiwan’s government and people.
McMullen said he had brought up issues regarding the decades-old restrictions with the US Department of State and later with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when he visited Switzerland in 2019.
Huang was not the only Taiwanese representative who met with a US diplomat after the self-imposed ban ended.
On Monday last week, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra met Representative to the Netherlands Chen Hsing-hsing (陳欣新) at the US embassy in The Hague.
Pompeo had declared the restrictions on contacts that have been in place since Washington cut ties with Taipei “null and void.”
The guidelines had forbidden Taiwanese diplomats and members of the military from displaying the national flag at US government venues, as well as all symbols of Taiwanese sovereignty from being displayed on US premises, a source familiar with the policy said.
As part of the guidelines, Taiwanese representatives overseas were also not allowed to meet US counterparts at US embassies.
While Taiwan welcomed the lifting of the ban, others have seen the move as a publicity stunt in the waning days of US President Donald Trump’s term to infuriate China and constrict US president-elect Joe Biden’s room to maneuver on China and Taiwan policies.
There is no indication yet whether the Biden administration, which takes over the White House on Wednesday, would uphold the decision.
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