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Former US secretary of state likely to visit Taiwan this year

Mike Pompeo backs Taiwan's #FreedomPineapple campaign despite China pressure

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo eats snacks from Taiwan (Twitter, Mike Pompeo photo)

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo eats snacks from Taiwan (Twitter, Mike Pompeo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has shared a photo of himself eating dried pineapples from Taiwan in support of the country, as officials confirmed he's likely to travel to Taiwan later this year.

In a photo posted on Twitter Monday (April 12), the former top diplomat is seen holding a bag of fruit snacks while playing chess. “As a proponent of freedom, enjoying some Taiwanese dried pineapple. Checkmate,” wrote the caption.

Pompeo was referring to the #FreedomPineapple campaign waged by Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on social media, after Beijing prohibited the import of pineapples from Taiwan over what it arbitrarily called pest fears, effective March 1. Wu called upon the world to demonstrate its support for Taiwan by consuming the fruit it grows.

The packet of dried pineapples Pompeo relished was a souvenir from Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), de facto Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S. She retweeted the post, saying she was glad to see Pompeo enjoy the sweets.

Earlier this week it was announced that Pompeo, whose tenure ended in January, will join Fox News as a contributor. He was treated to a dinner by Hsiao at the Twin Oaks on March 31, when the two savored Taiwan-style delicacies including pineapple cakes and bubble milk tea in their first-ever meeting, reported CNA.

He has publicly praised the country, saying Taiwan and the U.S. share core values in advocating freedom, democracy, and a market economy. MOFA Deputy Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) confirmed at a legislative interpellation on Monday that Pompeo is very much likely to visit Taiwan this year.

Updated : 2021-05-14 13:21 GMT+08:00