The final days of the Trump administration have been tense. The tension heightens even further beyond the borders of the country as Washington makes “null and void” all State Department guidelines regarding relations with Taiwan. This came in a statement from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who has said,
“The United States government maintains relationships with unofficial partners around the world, and Taiwan is no exception…Today’s statement recognizes that the US-Taiwan relationship need not, and should not, be shackled by self -imposed restrictions of our permanent bureaucracy.”
This move critics say will “fundamentally change Washington’s relationship with the self-governed island and is expected to anger Beijing.”
In 1949 Taiwan split from mainland China. However, the idea of the self-governing democracy being reunited with China even by force has remained a constant in the mind of China’s leader, President Xi Jinping. In an effort to minimize tensions with the communist regime in Beijing, Washington had for years imposed self-regulations in dealing with Taiwan. However, even before Pompeo had formally declared an end to this, the barriers had started to be broken down.
Even though Washington had maintained ties with Taiwan efforts were made not upset Beijing thus displays of friendship were avoided. In the past couple of months, all that has changed; officials of the Trump administration have visited Taiwan. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will visit soon; this visit has been preceded by visits from Keith Krach, the Under Secretary of State of Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, and Alex Azar, Secretary of Health. In response to the visits, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Wenbin said that official exchanges between Taiwan and the US must immediately stop because “China opposes any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan. This position is consistent and clear.” Pompeo’s declaration authorizes the US diplomats and officials to have relations with Taiwan as they do with any other country