Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Taiwan next week to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Feb. 21, noting that the visit underscores Washington’s “unanimous bipartisan support” for Taiwan.
The ministry said in a statement that Pompeo and his wife would visit Taiwan from March 2 to 5, during which they’ll meet with Tsai, Vice President Lai Ching-te, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Pompeo is also expected to give a speech at a think tank on March 4.
“He will also interact with people from all walks of life in domestic affairs, business, and academia to strengthen the close and friendly relationship between Taiwan and the United States,” the ministry stated.
Pompeo’s visit to Taiwan demonstrates Washington’s bipartisan “rock solid” support for Taiwan and the close relations between the two nations, according to the ministry.
The Trump administration gave strong backing to Taiwan, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, including by making high-profile arms sales and through the visits of top U.S. officials to Taipei.
Pompeo, who served under President Donald Trump from 2018 to January 2021, was described as “a long-term and staunch friend of Taiwan.”
He riled China during his tenure in office by criticizing the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and increasing U.S. relations with Taiwan.
Tensions between the self-ruled island and the regime in Beijing have been escalating, with the most recent Chinese incursion into Taiwanese airspace involving 39 aircraft and a bomber. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to conquer the island by force if necessary.
Pompeo said in 2021 that “Taiwan has not been a part of China” and that the United States is legally responsible for providing Taiwan with the means to defend itself.
“That was recognized with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policies that the United States has adhered to now for 3 1/2 decades,” he said in a U.S. radio interview.
At the Argus Americas Crude Summit 2022, Pompeo said Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants “global domination—hegemony for the Chinese Communist Party,” adding that the rise of the CCP could destroy the rules-based international order that has been in place since the end of World War II.
“It’s not about putting a Chinese tank division in Taiwan. It’s about accreting political power and influence throughout the world,” Pompeo said.
Nathan Worcester and Reuters contributed to this report.