Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Taiwan next week, more than a year after China sanctioned him and several other U.S. officials for allegedly violating “China’s sovereignty.”
Pompeo and his wife will visit Taiwan between March 2 and March 5, Reuters reported, citing the country’s foreign ministry. Pompeo is reportedly scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and deliver a speech at a think tank.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry called Pompeo a “long-term and staunch friend” of the country.
“Former Secretary of State Pompeo is a long-term and staunch friend of Taiwan and made outstanding contributions to promoting Taiwan-U.S. relations during his time in office,” the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The ministry said the former secretary’s travel to the country illustrates the bipartisan “rock solid” support the U.S. has for Taiwan and its close relationship with the country, according to Reuters.
The Trump administration maintained a positive relationship with Taiwan despite a lack of formal diplomatic ties, according to Reuters, approving high-profile arms sales and sending top U.S. officials to Taipei.
China on Jan. 20, 2021, announced that it was sanctioning Pompeo and more than two dozen other U.S. figures, including Trump administration figures and allies, for allegedly violating “China’s sovereignty.”
China said the sanctioned individuals and their immediate family members “are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China.”
“They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added in a statement.
Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, former Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell, former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon were also sanctioned.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, specifically said Pompeo was “notorious for lying and deceiving” and said he was “turning himself into a doomsday clown and joke of the century with his last madness and lies of the century.”
Pompeo’s trip to Taiwan comes as his name has been floated as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2024.
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