11 Jan 2021
Beijing has slammed Washington’s decision to lift restrictions on diplomatic relations with Taiwan, saying the island was “the most important” part of its relations with Washington.
“Any move that harms China’s core interests will be met with China’s resolute counter-strike,” said Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesperson, on Monday.
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said on Saturday that the Trump administration would lift “self-imposed restrictions” adding that all “contact guidelines” should be considered “null and void.”
He went on: “The free world must triumph over this new tyranny,” he said in the speech. “The old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it. We must not return to it.”
“Washington switched official diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Beijing in 1979 and maintained the strict internal protocols, which determine issues such as where diplomats could meet and how correspondence was conducted. The U.S. has deepened ties with Taiwan under the Trump administration, including arms sales, and high-profile bilateral exchanges and visits,” writes an expert on Sino-U.S. relations in the Financial Times on Monday.
Drew Thompson, a former Pentagon official responsible for managing relations with China, said that Beijing should not be the deciding factor in determining interests and achieving U.S. objectives.
“Arbitrary restrictions on engagement harm U.S. interests and belittle our valued Taiwan friends, at no gain to either, and potential harm to both,” he wrote on Twitter.