The United States must engage with China “realistically and on our terms,” which would include “more enthusiastic ties” with Taiwan, Mike Pompeo said.
By Kayleigh Madjar / Staff Reporter, in KAOHSIUNG
The economic ‘status quo’, which benefits China, is changing, offering opportunities for closer cooperation between Taiwan and the United States, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday during a a business forum in Kaohsiung.
Pompeo is traveling to Taiwan for the second time this year to participate in the Global Taiwan Business Forum, hosted by the Free time (sister paper of Taipei Time).
In a speech to more than 300 business representatives at the Kaohsiung Marriott Hotel, Pompeo spoke about changing relations in Southeast Asia due to China’s aggressive conduct.
Beijing’s actions have changed the region and “brought those who prefer peace and trade even closer together”, he said.
Pompeo said that as secretary of state, he and his department grapple with fundamental questions about longstanding US policy toward China.
“America must admit a hard truth, a truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come,” he said. “If we want a free 21st century and not a Chinese century, the century that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping [習近平] dream, the old paradigm of blind engagement must end.
Photo: Lee Hui-chou, Taipei Times
Instead, the United States must engage with China “realistically and on our terms,” which would include a “deep and much more enthusiastic relationship” with Taiwan, he said.
That relationship includes security, but also the trade and economic ties on which a security relationship can be built, he said, touting tariffs and export controls on Chinese goods put in place under former US President Donald Trump.
“The result is not a decoupling of China by the United States and Taiwan, but a turning point,” he said.
Photo: Kayleigh Madjar, Taipei Times
“There was nothing free or fair” about the US-China trade relationship, and free trade is not even possible with a country that does not respect the basic rule of law, human rights. man or intellectual property, he said.
“The good news here today is that Taiwan is completely different. It’s the opposite of China in every one of those respects,” he said, praising Taiwan as a global model of free trade.
While the possibility of a trade agreement between the two nations has received much attention, it was not innovative until it was first proposed in the 1970s, given the de facto reality of today, he said.
The private sector is where things happen faster, he added.
“Politics is often a lot of talk with too little action,” he said. “It’s the business level…where good things happen first and most often, and where great minds meet.”
To facilitate their work, Pompeo called for concrete steps to facilitate cross-border business, such as streamlining access to business licenses, making it easier to incorporate in Taiwan, and using the same credit ratings.
“I see a young and incredibly aggressive and innovative people here in Taiwan. I see the rule of law and free markets flourishing, I see a government that focuses on common sense and infrastructure,” he said. “These are just a few reasons why I am optimistic this morning that it is in the interest of the United States and Taiwan to work together.”
Although he did not reiterate the call he made during his visit in March for Washington to formally recognize Taiwan, he stressed the “reality” of Taiwanese independence.
“Taiwan does not need to declare its independence, because it is already an independent nation,” he said. “I promise you that the people of the United States and our government will recognize this simple political, diplomatic and sovereign reality.”
He also accused US President Joe Biden of making US policy on Taiwan “more ambiguous” with his “confusing and confusing statements”, likely referring to the four separate occasions when Biden confirmed US commitment to militarily defending Taiwan, followed by statements from the White House. stating that American policy had not changed.
Regarding Biden’s Indo-Pacific economic framework, Pompeo said it was unclear what he would achieve other than “diplomatic talks, coffee shops and lounges,” though he was wrong. to refuse an invitation to Taiwan “for political reasons”.
Pompeo is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech today at the annual meeting of the Global Taiwan Chambers of Commerce and meet with executives from high-tech companies.
While his visit to Taipei in March focused on politics, Pompeo said he was delighted to spend time in the south and talk with business representatives.
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