Turbulent Trump diplomacy ends with scrapped Europe, Taiwan trips

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

"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".

The State Department said Pompeo's trip was designed "to reaffirm the deep and enduring partnership between the United States and Belgium and the unwavering USA support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

"Pompeo, a close ally of Trump, had sought to meet Jean Asselborn in Luxembourg, a small but wealthy North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, before meeting European Union leaders and the bloc's top diplomat in Brussels, three people close to the planning told Reuters".

Pompeo's planned trip to Europe was also canceled.

But the visits were suddenly scrapped a week before Democrat Joe Biden takes office and as President Donald Trump faces an all-but-certain second impeachment on a charge of inciting his supporters to storm Congress last week. In his carefully crafted statements, the top diplomat has avoided criticizing Trump's actions and is instead focusing on how critics are characterizing the events.

Pompeo's spokesman Morgan Ortagus added that the Department of State is canceling "all planned travel this week" amid Biden preparing to announce who he will select for the department's new cabinet posts.

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has slammed US President Donald Trump over the riot at the Capitol in an interview on January 7. We saw that with the way they announced Kelly Craft's visit to Taiwan. The latter views Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened military force to bring the island under its fold.

The stakes are high.

China has been angered by stepped-up United States support for Taiwan under the Trump administration, including arms sales and visits to Taipei by senior U.S. officials.

A spokesperson for Biden's transition team told the Financial Times last week the new administration will "continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan".

Then on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared he was lifting "complex internal restrictions" limiting official contacts with Taiwan.

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

Protecting Taiwan, one of Asia's most progressive democracies, from a Chinese invasion has become a rare bipartisan issue in Washington.

"The people who are truly responsible are Trump and members of the GOP".

Bonnie Glaser, an expert on Taiwan and China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Taipei would be "disappointed, but also somewhat relieved" by Craft's last-minute cancellation.

"Some kind of speeches as a result of dividing a society can really create this kind of problematics", she told BBC News last week.

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