Mike Pompeo Photograph:( Reuters )
Pompeo's bold statement, which drew China's ire, goes hand-in-hand with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who views Taiwan as a sovereign nation, not part of 'one China' policy
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said that Taiwan not part of China.
Speaking in a US radio interview on Thursday, Pompeo said, ''Taiwan has not been a part of China. That was recognised 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."
Pompeo's bold statement, which drew China's ire, goes hand-in-hand with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who views Taiwan as a sovereign nation, not part of "one China" policy. Her stance infuriates Beijing, which is now buzzing the island with an unprecedented number of fighter jets and surveillance aircraft.
Thanking Pompeo for his support, Taiwan's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou said "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."
Chinese foreign ministry responded to Pompeo's statement saying it will strike back against any moves that undermine its core interests.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Taiwan was an inalienable part of China and that Pompeo was further damaging Sino-US ties.
"We solemnly tell Pompeo and his ilk, that any behaviour that undermines China's core interests and interferes with China's domestic affairs will be met with a resolute counterattack by China," he said, without elaborating.
China has put sanctions on US companies selling weapons to Taiwan and flew fighter jets near the island when senior U.S. officials visited Taipei this year.
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 United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and officially only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of it, rather than explicitly recognising China's claims.
Relations between Washington and Taipei warmed dramatically under Donald Trump's administration, beginning soon after the votes were counted.
Taiwan officials will travel to Washington next week for economic talks, which have also annoyed Beijing