European official declares Trump a ‘political pyromaniac’ - Pompeo cancels trip

Clay Curtis
January 13, 2021

"The problem is that with the Trump administration leaving office in 10 days, the incoming administration is essentially free to approach US-Taiwan relations in the way it wants regardless of what Pompeo has done".

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg's foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet with him.

Besides Stoltenberg, he was also set to meet Belgium's deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Pompeo's planned trip to Europe was also canceled.

Pompeo has faced backlash of his own, including from USA diplomats, for standing by Trump even as other Republicans condemned his speech, blamed him for the violence and called on him to recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect.

As Trump faces growing calls for his impeachment and removal from office, Pompeo has reportedly become isolated at the State Department.

Asselborn described Trump as a "political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court" over last week's attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. Two cabinet secretaries resigned, citing the violence at the Capitol. The latter views Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened military force to bring the island under its fold.

COVID-19 in China
Elsewhere, Heilongjiang province reported 36 new asymptomatic cases in Wangkui county, which also went into lockdown on Monday. Security measures will be tightened on highways and railroads leading to the three cities, the committee said.

Beijing's saber-rattling has reached new heights with Chinese jets making a record 380 incursions into Taiwan's defense zone last year to signal anger over Washington's burgeoning relationship with Taipei during the Trump years.

The US switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979 but it remains Taipei's leading unofficial ally and is bound by Congress to sell the island weapons to defend itself.

Firmly opposed by China, the move has further strained China-U.S. ties.

During an interview with CCTV, Teng Jianqun, director of the Department for American Studies and a senior research fellow at China Institute of International Studies, said that Trump's administration is trying to limit the space for Biden to adjust the government's policies toward China, especially with respect to Taiwan, so that Biden can't escape this "trap".

Protecting Taiwan, one of Asia's most progressive democracies, from a Chinese invasion has become a rare bipartisan issue in Washington. "I was saddened to see that President Trump, when things were evolving really badly and it took so much time to calm down people, still kept saying that the election were a fraud". Justifying his action, Pompeo said Washington had "unilaterally" created the restrictions to promote ties with China.

For the next USA administration, Nachman believes, the move could pose a challenge, by forcing the incoming secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, to address the issue of Taiwan in the first few weeks of the new administration.

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