TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a business forum on Tuesday (Sept. 27) said that it is time for the U.S. to end "blind engagement" with China in favor of "enthusiastic engagement" with Taiwan and diplomatic recognition.
In a speech to a World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce (WTCC) in Kaohsiung City that day, Pompeo said that "Taiwan does not need to declare independence because it’s already an independent country." He also called on the U.S. to provide Taiwan diplomatic recognition as a "free and sovereign country."
Pompeo then argued that if the West wants a 21st century not molded by "Xi Jinping dreams" the aged tactic of "blind engagement with China simply won't get it done." He asserted that Washington must instead engage with Beijing "realistically and on our terms," and added that this will entail "far more enthusiastic engagement with Taiwan."
He said that tariffs on China during the Trump administration were not a decoupling from China, but rather a "turning point." The former secretary of state said that the tariffs were a signal that the trade patterns that had benefited China for the past 20 years were changing, to the benefit of the U.S. and Taiwan.
The potential presidential candidate criticized Biden's "muddled and confusing statements" over the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan. He said that this highlighted concerns that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Indo-Pacifc and that the country is "not as committed to protecting Taiwan" as during the Trump administration.
Pompeo said that decades of "naive economic engagement" with China have taught Americans that there is "nothing free about our economic relations with China." He chided the Beijing for failing to respect the rule of law, stealing intellectual property, abusing their workers, and committing genocide.
He pointed out that Taiwan, on the other hand, is "quite the opposite of China" in these key areas. Therefore, he concluded that this is why trade between the U.S. and Taiwan is thriving and is a "model for free trade in a world where America and other free nations should pursue decoupling with China."