The United States must immediately recognize Taiwan "as a free and sovereign country," former secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in a landmark speech Thursday while he visited the region.
As Russia tries to seize Ukraine—and with Taiwan seen by many as the next front in the battle against a rising anti-U.S. axis of nations that includes China and Russia—the Biden administration can send a stark warning to the Communist Party by recognizing Taiwan's independence.
"It is my view that the U.S. government should immediately take necessary, and long-overdue, steps to do the right and obvious thing, that is to offer the Republic of China (Taiwan) America's diplomatic recognition as a free and sovereign country," Pompeo said in a speech to the Prospect Foundation, a nonpartisan research group based in Taiwan.
"This is not about Taiwan's future independence, it is about recognizing an unmistakable, already existent reality," said Pompeo, whom many view as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024. "That reality is, as many of your past and present leaders have made clear, there is no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it's already an independent country: Its name is the Republic of China (Taiwan). The people and government of the United States should simply recognize this political, diplomatic, and sovereignty reality. The Taiwanese people deserve the world's respect for a free, democratic, and sovereign country."