US lifts restrictions on official ties with Taiwan

TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (MNA) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the lifting of “self-imposed” restrictions on US-Taiwan ties.

Pompeo on Saturday said he was lifting restrictions on contacts between US officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, a move likely to increase tensions between Beijing and Washington in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

China considers Taiwan as part of its own territory and regularly describes Taiwan as the most sensitive issue in its ties with the US.

While the US, like most countries, has no official relations with Taiwan, the Trump administration has ramped up support, with arms sales and laws to help Taiwan deal with pressure from China.

In a statement, Pompeo said that for several decades the US state department had created complex internal restrictions on interactions with Taiwanese counterparts by American diplomats, service members, and other officials, Guardians reported.

“The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing,” Pompeo said. “Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions.”

The announcement comes days after reports indicated that US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft is set to visit Taiwan. China has warned the US not to play with fire.

“We wish to remind the United States that whoever plays with fire will burn himself. The United States will pay a heavy price for its wrong action,” China’s UN mission said, Reuters reported.

“China strongly urges the United States to stop its crazy provocation, stop creating new difficulties for China-US relations and the two countries’ cooperation in the United Nations, and stop going further on the wrong path.”

MAH/PR

News Code 168296

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