BEIJING/TAIPEI—Speaking in a U.S. radio interview on Thursday, Pompeo said: “Taiwan has not been a part of China.”
“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 three-and-a-half decades,” he said.
The United States is legally responsible for providing Taiwan with the means to defend itself.
The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the communists, who founded the People’s Republic of China.
The communist regime calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States, and has been angered by the Trump administration’s increased support for the democratically-ruled island, including arms sales.
Chinese regime military forces flew fighter jets near the island when senior U.S. officials visited Taipei this year from Sept. 17 to Sept. 24, entering Taiwan’s airspace at least 46 times. The communist regime also put sanctions on U.S. companies selling weapons to Taiwan.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Taiwan was an inalienable part of the communist regime and that Pompeo was further damaging Sino-U.S. ties.
Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, thanked Pompeo for his support.
“The Republic of China on Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country, and not part of the People’s Republic of China. This is a fact and the current situation,” she said.
Taiwan officials will travel to Washington next week for economic talks.
By Yew Lun Tian and Ben Blanchard