China Teases Biden for Sending Officials to Taiwan During Mike Pompeo Visit
China’s state-run Global Times on Tuesday heckled the Biden administration for supposedly sending a delegation of defense officials to Taiwan to upstage former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who arrived for his own visit Wednesday.
This little jab of sarcasm was mixed with the usual blood-curdling threats about America potentially starting World War III by supporting the hopelessly lost cause of Taiwanese independence.
Pompeo arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday for a four-day visit that will include meetings with top Taiwanese officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen, who will present Pompeo with the Order of Brilliant Star commendation Thursday.
Pompeo said it was “wonderful” to make his long-planned trip to Taiwan.
“I’ve been looking forward to coming to visit with the people of Taiwan for a very long time. I’m so much looking forward to my trip, to meeting with business people, people from government, people all across your great nation,” he said upon arriving at Taoyuan International Airport.
Deputy Minister Tseng extended the warmest of #Taiwan welcomes to former #US Secretary of State @MikePompeo & his wife Susan. We wish our good friends a wonderful & enlightening 4-day visit to the #IslandOfResilience. 🇹🇼🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/8T91b6LSTU
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 2, 2022
Communist China agrees that Pompeo’s contributions to U.S. relations with Taiwan were prodigious, but is rather less happy about it. The regime in Beijing leveled “sanctions” against Pompeo and 27 other outgoing Trump administration officials in January 2021, within minutes of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A delegation of former top U.S. defense officials arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, led by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and including officials from the Bush and Obama administrations.
Minister Wu welcomed the high-level bipartisan delegation of former #US security officials led by Adm Mike Mullen & comprising @micheleflournoy@OSullivanMeghan Michael Green & Evan Medeiros. We thank the Biden administration for its timely show of rock-solid support for #Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/R5sm9lvN2x
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 1, 2022
The quickly-arranged visit, announced by the Biden White House on Monday, was meant as a show of continuing American support for Taiwan during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The White House was aware of Pompeo’s previously scheduled visit but chose not to comment on it.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)
The Global Times halfheartedly tried to manufacture a little drama about the two visits, briefly citing unnamed “Chinese experts” convinced the Biden administration wanted to “offset the impact of the former secretary of state, who has ambitions for the 2024 presidential election.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing, China, Friday, February 4, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
“Many Taiwan people, who have witnessed endless U.S. arms sales and the DPP authority’s decision to lift import bans of ractopamine-enhanced pork from the U.S., suspect that the U.S. is trying to raise the price of its protection fee for Taiwan during this trip,” the Global Times muttered.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a visit to the Penghu Magong military air base in outlying Penghu Island, Taiwan Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
The DPP is President Tsai’s party, the Democratic Progressive Party. The Kuomintang (KMT) opposition party, which is friendly to China and fared poorly in the last few elections, criticized the DPP for lifting a ban on U.S. pork imports last year. The ban was imposed because many American pork producers use an additive called ractopamine banned in Taiwan.
The DPP won a referendum in December on the pork issue in another political setback for KMT, but ractopamine remains a contentious issue in Taiwan, giving the Global Times a raw nerve to poke at.
Chinese propagandists are laboring mightily to present Ukraine as a negative lesson for Taiwanese “secessionists,” telling them America can no more protect Taiwan than it could protect the Ukrainians.
The Global Times took a little victory lap over the Biden delegation containing only long-retired former officials, a detail it took as a sign of weakness and climbdown from the strong support President Donald Trump and his secretary of state Pompeo showed toward the island.
“Some analysts said Biden’s sudden dispatch of the delegation may have been an attempt to ‘draw red lines’ for the upcoming meeting between Tsai and Pompeo to avoid angering China at a time of instability, while at the same time offsetting the impact of Pompeo’s trip,” the Chinese Communist paper sneered.
Joe Biden (R) shakes hands with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, February 14, 2012. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
On Wednesday, the Global Times taunted Taiwanese officials for “groveling” before Biden’s symbolic emissaries:
This comes at a time when the morale of the DPP authority remains low and its confidence in the US has been seriously eroded. The panic of the DPP authority is very self-evident. The Biden administration has become aware of this mind-set and is worried that the small pawn of the US in East Asia to “contain Beijing” will be shaken. To this end, Biden suddenly made up his mind to send this delegation in a bid to ease the DPP authority’s panic. Although members of the delegation are former senior Washington officials, Biden’s “dispatch” has given the group an official status. Just as a spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said previously, the so-called distinction of “official” and “unofficial” is just a cover for their “deception.”
Why are those sent to Taiwan all former military officers and senior national security officials? The Biden administration has taken great pains in making the decision. Such an arrangement has an “advantage” – these people can talk as big as possible. They can say whatever the DPP authority hopes to hear and the US government does not have to take any responsibility for it. One can even imagine the kind of conversation that would take place between them. It will be nothing more than lines just like “Don’t worry too much, we won’t leave you alone.” But apart from the self-deceiving DPP authority and the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces, very few people on the island of Taiwan believe such a trick. This is simply because as long as the DPP authority does not stop its “independence-seeking” moves, no one can guarantee their safety.
“Of course, with the DPP authority in such a desperate situation, as long as some Americans can visit the island and put on a show, they will feel excited. There are even crowds of people in Taiwan rushing to curry favor with an infamous troublemaker like Pompeo,” the Global Times huffed.
“The US has in recent years ratcheted up its actions to ‘use Taiwan to contain China,’ which has objectively instigated the ‘Taiwan independence.’ But the attempt to ‘rely on the US to seek independence’ is doomed to fail. Tsai probably has become aware of this, otherwise why has she practiced how to escape in many exercises? When that day comes, whether the Americans would help Tsai flee the island depends on her usefulness,” the belligerent editorial concluded.