US eases self restrictions on contacting Taiwan

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that he is lifting self-imposed, decades-long restrictions on contacts between US officials and their counterparts in Taiwan.

He said in a statement on Saturday that the restrictions were imposed "unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing."

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US in Washington, welcomed the news.

Government sources say the "contact guidelines" regarding interactions with Taiwan officials included instructions not to hold meetings at official venues such as the White House, and procedures for any visits to Taiwan.

Pompeo had announced on Wednesday that US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft would visit Taiwan in the near future.

The Trump administration has been turning up pressure on China with a series of aggressive measures in its final weeks.

Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20.