US should diplomatically recognize 'free' Taiwan: Pompeo
After the US fueled the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, it has obviously turned its attention to Taiwan, targeting China.
The United States should diplomatically recognize Taiwan as "a free and sovereign country," former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech while visiting the island.
Pompeo, one of former President Donald Trump's advisors, arrived Wednesday for a visit at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan and Ukraine.
While Washington should continue to engage with Beijing as a sovereign government, offering Taiwan diplomatic recognition "can no longer be ignored, avoided or treated as secondary," Pompeo said in a speech hosted by a local think-tank.
"No need for Taiwan to declare independence"
"It is my view that the United States government should immediately take necessary and long-overdue steps to do the right and obvious thing, that is to offer the Republic of China (Taiwan) America’s diplomatic recognition as a free and sovereign country," he assumed.
Washington is considered Taiwan's most important ally and leading arms supplier.
Pompeo claimed that the move "isn't about Taiwan's future independence, it's about recognition of an unmistakable, already existing reality."
"As many of your past and present leaders have made clear, there's no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it’s already an independent nation. Its name is the Republic of China (Taiwan)," he alleged.
Pompeo meets Tsai
The former US official indicated that "the people and government of the United States should simply accept this fundamentally decent, morally right thing."
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met Pompeo on Thursday, conferring on him an honorary medal and praising him for facilitating "multiple breakthroughs" in Taiwan-US relations.
On his way out of office, Pompeo announced that Washington was ending restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan.
Taiwan "an integral part" of China
China considers the island of Taiwan an integral part of its territory and thus has long sought to reincorporate it into the mainland.
Beijing believes a formal declaration of Taiwan independence would cross its "red line" and has warned that such a step could trigger war.
This comes following the Chinese Foreign Ministry's announcement that the United States has inflated the passage of its warships through the Taiwan Strait.