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In jab at China, Mike Pompeo lifts curbs on contacts with Taiwan

The move on Taiwan is likely to anger China and increase tensions between Washington and Beijing as the Trump administration enters its final days ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as president

Taiwan | US China | Mike Pompeo

Press Trust of India 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, arrives at the airport in New Delhi
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

The US has lifted the "self-imposed restrictions" on contacts between American and Taiwanese diplomats and officials, Secretary of State has announced, ending a long-standing policy to "appease" China.

The move on is likely to anger China and increase tensions between Washington and Beijing as the Trump administration enters its final days ahead of the inauguration of as president on January 20. China regards as a breakaway province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force. But Taiwan's leaders assert that it is a sovereign state.

In a statement, Pompeo said, “for several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials' interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts.” The US has maintained close ties with since it split from mainland China in 1949 after the end of a civil war.

But until recently Washington has avoided major displays of friendship so as to not antagonise Beijing, which continues to view the self-governing democracy of around 24 million people as an inseparable part of its territory.

Beijing pushes against US sanctions with new rules

China continued its pushback against US sanctions, issuing new rules to protect its firms from “unjustified” foreign laws and allowing Chinese courts to punish global companies for complying with foreign restrictions. The rules on “counteracting unjustified extra-territorial application” of foreign laws allow Chinese authorities to issue orders saying that firms or people in China don’t need to comply.

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First Published: Sun, January 10 2021. 23:47 IST