On Sunday evening, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted a photo of himself snacking on Taiwanese dried pineapple in support of the country amid a Chinese ban on pineapple imports.
“As a proponent of freedom, enjoying some Taiwanese dried pineapple. Checkmate,” Pompeo tweeted.
Pompeo’s tweet comes amid an ongoing #freedompineapple social media campaign in Taiwan. The campaign began in February in response to a Chinese ban on imports of Taiwanese pineapple. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted out the campaign, calling on supporters of Taiwan around the globe to buy the pineapple in protest of China’s ban.
Hsiao Bi-khim, the de-facto Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S., retweeted Pompeo’s tweet, saying, “Glad that @mikepompeo likes Taiwanese dried pineapples which I have been sharing around town.”
As Secretary of State under former President Donald Trump, Pompeo frequently drew criticism from China over his support for Taiwan.
While China maintains a sovereignty claim over Taiwan, Pompeo said in November that Taiwan isn’t a part of China. Pompeo’s comment drew criticism from Chinese officials, including Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, who said any behavior by “Pompeo and his ilk” will “be met with a resolute counterattack.”
In January, Pompeo took another step in support of Taiwan, by removing State Department restrictions on U.S. official’s meetings with Taiwanese counterparts. Shortly after announcing the change in January, the State Department announced then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft would meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The visit was canceled amid Chinese threats, and Kraft and the Taiwanese president instead spoke by video call.
U.S. officials have increasingly warned that China may soon attempt to invade Taiwan. For months, China has been flying warplanes around Taiwan, in an apparent effort to wear down Taiwan’s smaller air forces.
On Sunday, Taiwan News reported Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang confirmed that Pompeo will visit Taiwan later this year. The visit may be tied to Pompeo’s political aspirations, which have been under speculation since the end of Trump’s presidential term in January.
In March, Pompeo campaigned on behalf of the Republican Party in Iowa, Texas and Nebraska. Asked ahead of the campaign trip whether he’s considering a presidential run in 2024, Pompeo said “It’s way too early to tell” but added, “I’m always up for a good fight.”
Last week, Pompeo also announced his new role as a contributor at Fox News.
On Thursday, Pompeo tweeted, “In this new role at @FoxNews, I intend to give viewers a candid, no-nonsense look at geopolitics, international relations and the America First policies that helped chart the course for American prosperity and security.”