Pompeo Sends a Tough Signal to Beijing With His Visit to Taiwan

News Analysis “We need to do all we can to protect our American way of life at home, and allowing these thugs, autocrats, and dictators to move around freely is not in America’s best interest,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Feb. 23. Pompeo could have been talking about Vladimir Putin and his recent invasion of Ukraine, about Xi Jinping and his threat to do the same to Taiwan, or about both. If his tweet relates to China, and I think it does, it reinforces that of the possible Republican presidential candidates in 2024, Pompeo is the toughest on China. That accords with what my sources say, as well. And Pompeo is doubling-down on his China hawk status by planning a trip to Taiwan from March 2 to 5. On March 3, he will meet President Tsai Ing-wen. Pompeo and his wife will join Vice President Lai Ching-te and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for dinner, making it not just business, but social. That’s the best way to improve relations between our two countries. The visit, according to an official Taiwan statement, demonstrates the bipartisan nature of U.S. support for the island democracy. But not everybody is toasting. Beijing has already sent fiery missives denouncing Pompeo in the direction of Taipei, a city in an independent country that is about to host America’s greatest hope for 2024. Pompeo’s China Policies In January 2021, just as President Joe Biden entered office, Beijing sanctioned Pompeo and another 27 leading Trump administration officials. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) doesn’t much like Pompeo. The year prior, Pompeo called the CCP a “predator” and “the central threat of our times.” Shortly after, Pompeo broke the mold again, designating the Beijing regime’s persecution of the Uyghurs a “genocide.” The designation opened the floodgates for the incoming administration, and other governments around the world, to do the same. That put Beijing squarely in the “pariah” box of international relations. Pompeo also facilitated the U.S. approval of multiple Taiwan arms sales, strengthened bilateral exchanges, supported more participation by Taiwan in international organizations, and ended State Department restrictions on official U.S. contact with Taiwan. Pompeo said that for decades, the State Department had “created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts.” He continued: “The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more.” Pompeo has been a strong and public advocate for Taiwan’s democracy and freedom both during and after his government service. He confirmed that “Taiwan has not been a part of China” in a November 2020 radio interview. During the upcoming Taiwan visit, Pompeo will be accompanied by his close adviser, Dr. Miles Yu, a professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy. Yu argues that there is more evidence for the CCP’s genocide against Falun Gong than there is against the Uyghurs. There is plenty of evidence for both, of course, which means there is a double or even triple genocide ongoing in China, if one includes the Tibetans. When news of Pompeo’s upcoming trip was announced, China’s foreign ministry made note of his sanctioned status and flung a veiled threat at Taiwan. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, takes a question at a press briefing in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) “Pompeo has long been sanctioned by China due to his anti-China actions and deeds,” said Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, on Feb. 21. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party “attempts to achieve independence with the help of the U.S. will only end up getting themselves burnt.” The Benefits of Pompeo’s Taiwan Visit Former Taiwanese diplomat Vincent Chao observed on Feb. 21 that Taiwan will benefit from Pompeo’s visit in three ways. First, it will normalize high-level government meetings between the United States and Taiwan. Second, it will put Taiwan’s international participation at the core of U.S. goals. And third, it will further liberate U.S.-Taiwan relations from prior restraints. The visit might benefit Taiwan in other ways as well, if three main topics of discussion include what lessons Ukraine has for the changes needed to Taiwan’s status in order to assure its safety and sovereignty. First, Taiwan needs a better deterrent against territorial aggression by the Chinese regime. This should include America’s most powerful conventional weapons, but also an independent nuclear deterrent and U.S. and allied boots on the ground. If Ukraine had more powerful weapons and NATO boots on the ground, Putin would not have invaded. Taiwan needs all that—and more—to deter Beijing, which is far more powerful than Moscow. Second, Taiwan needs tougher laws against foreign illiberal influence, especially from Beijing. That should include better pro

Pompeo Sends a Tough Signal to Beijing With His Visit to Taiwan

News Analysis

“We need to do all we can to protect our American way of life at home, and allowing these thugs, autocrats, and dictators to move around freely is not in America’s best interest,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Feb. 23.

Pompeo could have been talking about Vladimir Putin and his recent invasion of Ukraine, about Xi Jinping and his threat to do the same to Taiwan, or about both.

If his tweet relates to China, and I think it does, it reinforces that of the possible Republican presidential candidates in 2024, Pompeo is the toughest on China. That accords with what my sources say, as well.

And Pompeo is doubling-down on his China hawk status by planning a trip to Taiwan from March 2 to 5. On March 3, he will meet President Tsai Ing-wen.

Pompeo and his wife will join Vice President Lai Ching-te and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for dinner, making it not just business, but social. That’s the best way to improve relations between our two countries.

The visit, according to an official Taiwan statement, demonstrates the bipartisan nature of U.S. support for the island democracy.

But not everybody is toasting. Beijing has already sent fiery missives denouncing Pompeo in the direction of Taipei, a city in an independent country that is about to host America’s greatest hope for 2024.

Pompeo’s China Policies

In January 2021, just as President Joe Biden entered office, Beijing sanctioned Pompeo and another 27 leading Trump administration officials.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) doesn’t much like Pompeo.

The year prior, Pompeo called the CCP a “predator” and “the central threat of our times.”

Shortly after, Pompeo broke the mold again, designating the Beijing regime’s persecution of the Uyghurs a “genocide.” The designation opened the floodgates for the incoming administration, and other governments around the world, to do the same. That put Beijing squarely in the “pariah” box of international relations.

Pompeo also facilitated the U.S. approval of multiple Taiwan arms sales, strengthened bilateral exchanges, supported more participation by Taiwan in international organizations, and ended State Department restrictions on official U.S. contact with Taiwan.

Pompeo said that for decades, the State Department had “created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts.”

He continued: “The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more.”

Pompeo has been a strong and public advocate for Taiwan’s democracy and freedom both during and after his government service. He confirmed that “Taiwan has not been a part of China” in a November 2020 radio interview.

During the upcoming Taiwan visit, Pompeo will be accompanied by his close adviser, Dr. Miles Yu, a professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Yu argues that there is more evidence for the CCP’s genocide against Falun Gong than there is against the Uyghurs. There is plenty of evidence for both, of course, which means there is a double or even triple genocide ongoing in China, if one includes the Tibetans.

When news of Pompeo’s upcoming trip was announced, China’s foreign ministry made note of his sanctioned status and flung a veiled threat at Taiwan.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, takes a question at a press briefing in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

“Pompeo has long been sanctioned by China due to his anti-China actions and deeds,” said Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, on Feb. 21. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party “attempts to achieve independence with the help of the U.S. will only end up getting themselves burnt.”

The Benefits of Pompeo’s Taiwan Visit

Former Taiwanese diplomat Vincent Chao observed on Feb. 21 that Taiwan will benefit from Pompeo’s visit in three ways. First, it will normalize high-level government meetings between the United States and Taiwan. Second, it will put Taiwan’s international participation at the core of U.S. goals. And third, it will further liberate U.S.-Taiwan relations from prior restraints.

The visit might benefit Taiwan in other ways as well, if three main topics of discussion include what lessons Ukraine has for the changes needed to Taiwan’s status in order to assure its safety and sovereignty.

First, Taiwan needs a better deterrent against territorial aggression by the Chinese regime. This should include America’s most powerful conventional weapons, but also an independent nuclear deterrent and U.S. and allied boots on the ground. If Ukraine had more powerful weapons and NATO boots on the ground, Putin would not have invaded. Taiwan needs all that—and more—to deter Beijing, which is far more powerful than Moscow.

Second, Taiwan needs tougher laws against foreign illiberal influence, especially from Beijing. That should include better protection against influence that the regime attempts to exert on Taipei through Taiwanese business people.

Third, and with effective protections against military and political aggression in place, Taiwan’s independence and sovereignty should be internationally recognized, starting with the United States. It should be explained publicly and forcefully to Beijing that a sovereign country does not use the threat of force. Instead, sovereignty inheres in the people, who vote their government into being.

My final piece of advice for Pompeo’s upcoming flight to Taiwan: Do not transit through mainland China.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Anders Corr has a bachelor's/master's in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea" (2018).