Taipei Police Probe Death Threat to Mike Pompeo as Ex-US Secretary of State Visits Taiwan

© AP Photo / John RaouxFormer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2022
Arriving at a Taipei airport on Wednesday, ex-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that he was happy to be in Taiwan and eager to meet government officials, businessmen, and “people all across your great nation”.
Taipei police are investigating a death threat addressed to former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday to meet the island’s leadership.
Newsweek reported that the threat was mentioned in a letter, received by the Prospect Foundation think tank in Taipei, where Pompeo is due to deliver a brief speech later on Thursday.
According to the news outlet, the letter in Mandarin, which was typed, unsigned and full of spelling errors, slammed the former top US diplomat as a “thug” and threatened to kill him. The note also reportedly asked the think tank to prepare a coffin.
The Taipei police probe comes hours after Pompeo’s arrival in a Taipei airport, where he was quick to refer to Taiwan as a country, in what has already been condemned by Beijing, which considers the island to be a breakaway Chinese province.

"It is wonderful to be here. I've been looking forward to coming to visit with the people of Taiwan for a very long time. I'm so much looking forward to my trip to meet with businesspeople, people from government, people all across your great nation”, the ex-US secretary of state told reporters.

Pompeo’s visit follows the US guided-missile destroyer Ralph Johnson conducting a routine “freedom of navigation” mission through the Taiwan Strait. China blasted the destroyer’s passage as “provocative”, while the US Seventh Fleet stressed that “transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
This comes amid reports about China’s possible response to Taiwan’s recent decision to support US-led anti-Russian sanctions and remove Russian banks from the global SWIFT financial payment system, among other things.
Beijing has previously spoken out against the imposition of such sanctions that were imposed over the ongoing Russian special military operation in Ukraine, which was announced by President Vladimir Putin on 24 February in order to demilitarise and “denazify” the country. The operation was launched following a request for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which had seen weeks of intensifying shelling from the Ukrainian Army.

Taiwan Tensions

Simmering tensions over Taiwan escalated in late January, when China sent almost 40 fighter jets into Taiwan's air defence identification zone for two days in a row. The flyovers came after US and EU delegations visited the island and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen admitted the presence of American troops on Taiwanese territory for training purposes in an interview with CNN. This followed the Wall Street Journal earlier reporting that US Marines and special operations forces had secretly trained Taiwan’s soldiers "for more than a year".

The tense situation is exacerbated by the US repeatedly sending warships to the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from mainland China. Beijing slams such missions as provocations, describing Washington as "the destroyer of peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait and "a security risk creator in the region".

Taiwan, which has been governed independently from Beijing since 1949, maintains that it is an autonomous country, while the Chinese government views the island as an integral part of China. Beijing continues to adhere to a policy of peaceful reunification under the "One China – Two Systems" model.
The US does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, maintaining, however, a representative office in Taipei, and remaining the island's biggest supplier of military hardware.
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