Saturday, 16 Oct 2021

Pompeo risks Beijing fury by sharing platform with Taiwan President and Hong Kong activist

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It is understood that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, the secretary-general of Demosisto will also be involved in the summit. Ms Tsai and Mr Wong have often been targets of harsh rhetoric from Chinese state media. Mr Pompeo will in his address, talk about “China and the challenge to free societies”.

State broadcaster CCTV described Mr Pompeo as a “common enemy of mankind” after he accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak.

The event will be virtual, and it is understood Ms Tsai will give a 10-minute video-recorded speech.

The official name of Taiwan is the Republic of China, it was founded after the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) lost the Chinese Civil War to the CCP.

Taiwanese politics is split into two loose camps, pro-blue who favour eventual reunification with mainland China and pan-green who favour Taiwanese independence.

Ms Tsai’s party is part of the pan-green coalition, but she views a declaration of independence, which many fear would cross a red line for China as unnecessary due to Taiwan’s de facto independence.

Mr Wong is scheduled to take part in a 30-minute discussion with a moderator called: “fighting for democracy – from the battlegrounds of Hong Kong”.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been invited to the event as well as John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, two of Mr Pompeo’s predecessors.

Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the think tank Centre for China and Globalisation said it was not appropriate for Mr Pompeo and Ms Tsai to appear at the same forum, even if it was virtual, as Beijing will consider this a violation of the one-China policy.

Mr Wang explained to the South China Morning Post: “If they invite these people but not Chinese side, then this is not appropriate, since we should have both sides represented.”

Mr Pompeo met with survivors of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, two days before the 31st anniversary. 

The State Department said: “We mourn the victims of June 4, 1989, and we stand with the people of China who continue to aspire to a government that protects human rights, fundamental freedoms and basic human dignity.”

In 1989, weeks-long protests for democratic reforms came to end as tanks rolled into Beijing to put the protests down by force.


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It is not known how many people died.

Hu Xijin, the editor of state-backed Global Times responded to the meeting by saying: “The US is proving the importance for China to restore order in 1989.
“But back then, the destruction of China’s order was much worse than the US now.”

It is believed these comments were in response to the unrest across the US following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Whilst many protests have remained peaceful, some have taken a violent turn.

Donald Trump has suggested he would be prepared to use US troops to help restore order.

European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova will also be at the summit.

It comes after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sent a thank you to Taiwan in April on Twitter: “The European Union thanks Taiwan for its donation of 5.6 million masks to help fight the #coronavirus.

“We really appreciate this gesture of solidarity.”

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