On March 10, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Taiwan a countryin a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
At the end of the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda, Republican Rep. Young Kim (California) noted that for decades, Taiwan has becomes an invaluable health and security partner to the United States around the world. She pointed out that with Taiwan’s contributions to the international community and a strong democratic system, Taiwan should get a seat at WHO to share its expertise.
She then called on the Biden administration to bring Taiwan to the upcoming Democratic Summit, as well as to negotiate with the country on a free trade agreement.
In response, Mr. Blinken replied that he was fully committed to [her] proposals. He also agrees with Kim’s view that Taiwan is a strong democracy and a very strong technological power.
He went on to say that Taiwan is a country that can contribute to the world, not just its people. COVID is a very good example of that.
According to Taiwan News, Mr. Blinken’s use of the national term marked a new phase in Taiwan-US relations. Since the US severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan under the Carter administration in 1979, the US State Department has imposed increasing restrictions on official interactions with Taiwan for fear of provoking. China.
At the end of his term of Secretary of State, however, Mike Pompeo reassessed these limitations. He called the Taiwan Code of Conduct insane and pointless. After full consideration, [I think] we should have more dialogue with each other, not less. [We] need more open conversations, not more secret conversations.
On January 10, the State Department under Pompeo formally lifted official restrictions on contact with Taiwan. Among the restrictions lifted is a ban on the use of national or government terminology when referring to Taiwan.
By using the word country, Mr. Blinken seems to have acknowledged Mr. Pompeo’s lifting of the restrictions.
However, only time will tell whether this is a blatant word or the acceptance of a long-term policy, according to Taiwan News.