Meeting of Taiwan, US envoys signal continuation of Trump policy

24-Feb-2021 Intellasia | FocusTaiwan | 6:56 AM Print This Post

Taiwan’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) representative met with his American counterpart at the office of Taiwan’s WTO mission, indicating that the US will continue to allow such meetings under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Taiwan WTO Representative Lo Chang-fa met with David Bisbee, the charge d’affaires ad interim of the US Mission to the WTO in Geneva, on February 11, Taiwan’s mission to the WTO said Monday.

Lo and Bisbee discussed WTO reforms and vowed to cooperate on strengthening bilateral relations and safeguarding multilateral trading systems, the Taiwan mission said.

It was the first meeting between Taiwan and US representatives to the WTO to take place at the Taiwan mission’s office, made possible by measures taken under the administration of former President Donald Trump just two weeks before Biden took office.

At the time, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he was lifting restrictions on contacts between Taiwan and US officials that had been in place since formal ties between the two countries were severed in 1979.

The guidelines had forbidden all symbols of Taiwan sovereignty from being displayed on US premises, and diplomats and military members from Taiwan were not allowed to display their national flag at US government venues.

Also, Taiwanese representatives overseas were not allowed to meet US counterparts at US embassies around the world, and US diplomats typically refrained from going to Taiwanese diplomatic offices.

While the lifting of the ban was welcomed in Taiwan, skeptics saw the move more as a publicity stunt in the waning days of Trump’s presidency to take a shot at China and box Biden in on China and Taiwan policy.

It was unclear at the time if Biden would continue the policy and how far he would be willing to go in implementing it.


Category: Taiwan

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