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CORRESPONDENT

Pompeo: Meaning of Dignitaries at Taiwan President's Inaugural

ching-te lai
Ching-te Lai (AP)

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 21 May 2024 11:14 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Although only 12 countries in the world still have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, there was an unusually high number of elected officials as well as former officials of governments worldwide who attended the inauguration Monday of the island-nation's new president, Lai Ching-te.

"There is an increasing awakening that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] threats and coercion do not serve the world well," former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Newsmax shortly after Lai took office. Pompeo, a longtime defender of Taiwan in and out of office, flew to the inaugural ceremony in Taipei at his own expense.

Pompeo strongly emphasized that there is also "a parallel belief that the defense of freedom and faith are necessary to prevent the CCP from shaping the next decades in the world. I think that's why so many came to stand with Taiwan as it begins a new leadership era."

No less than 31 members of the Japanese Diet (Parliament) were in attendance. But it was another Japanese visitor that raised eyebrows at the Taipei ceremony: Akie Abe, widow of her country's longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe. The late prime minister, gunned down by an assassin in July 2022, was known as a stalwart friend of Taiwan and once said: "Any emergency surrounding Taiwan would also be an emergency for Japan."

South Korea sent no other official delegation to the Lai's inaugural other than its envoy to Taipei. But a large group of South Korean parliamentarians went on their own to the ceremony, provoking the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to issue an angry protest.

The delegation of the South Korea-Taiwan interparliamentary friendship group was led by ruling People Power Party Rep. Cho Kyoung-tae.

The Chinese Embassy said it sternly opposes and condemns the visit of the South Korean lawmakers and that their visit endangered the "one-China" policy in which South Korea recognizes mainland China as the only China.

All members of the U.S. delegation were known as longtime friends of Taiwan. These include former Deputy Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage, former National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and American Institute in Taiwan Chair Laura Rosenberger.

A group of members of Congress were expected in Taipei later in the week and to have meetings with Lai.

Rep. Joe Wilson, R.-S.C., a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Newsmax he and Committee Chair Mike McCaul, R.-Texas, wanted to attend the inauguration "but we couldn't do it because we had votes scheduled for early in the week."

Wilson cited his personal pride in going to Taiwan because he is the only member of Congress whose father flew in the legendary Flying Tigers that helped the Chinese defeat the Japanese invaders during World War II.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Although only 12 countries in the world still have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, there was an unusually high number of elected officials and former officials of governments worldwide who attended the inauguration of new President Lai Ching-te.
mike pompeo, taiwan, south korea, japan, abe, inaugural
472
2024-14-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 11:14 AM
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