TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday (March 9) that he is looking forward to the opportunity to visit Taiwan in the future.
In an interview with CNA, Pompeo said that as a soldier during the Cold War, he had witnessed what "tyranny and communism did to ordinary people's lives." He asserted that when Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) came to power and in the ensuing years, it was apparent that "he presented a real risk to the United States of America."
When asked about why the State Department under his leadership removed its administrative restrictions on official exchanges with Taiwan, Pompeo said, "We started staring at them and realized it was just crazy. We had this completely separate set of rules that made no sense." He said that after a full review, "it made sense for us to have more conversations, not fewer. To have more open conversations, not more clandestine conversations."
When asked whether he plans to visit Taiwan, Pompeo said, "It would be wonderful to get the chance to travel there someday. I would truly enjoy that. It would be a real treat."
As for a potential presidential run, Pompeo said that "It's so far off" and that he has never been able to plan his life very far in advance. He indicated that he would observe the outcome of the 2022 mid-term elections and then make a decision.
Pompeo closed by saying that he would do everything he can do to advance American freedom. "I care about it deeply. I'm going to stay in the fight for a good long time," said the former secretary of state.
On Wednesday (March 10), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the Taiwanese government sincerely thanks Pompeo for his "important contributions and many friendly acts in strengthening Taiwan-U.S. relations during his tenure." Ou said Taiwan greatly cherishes its long-term friendship with Pompeo and "warmly welcomes" him to pay a visit to Taiwan.
She said that currently there are no specific plans for a visit by Pompeo. Ou pointed out that inviting current and outgoing government officials and other dignitaries "has always been an important part of our government's work in the United States."
In the future, Ou said that MOFA will assess the pandemic situation and adjust various planned trips in accordance with the relevant regulations of the Central Epidemic Command Center in order to continue to work with friends from all walks of life in the U.S. to steadily deepen the substantial bilateral partnership.