A New York-based Taiwan official who criticized the Carter administration's China policy in letters to U.S. newspapers was recalled last week after telling friends that the State Department had sought his withdrawal.
The State Department declined to comment on the incident, which involves the sudden departure for Taiwan on Jan. 23 of I-Cheng Loh, a veteran of 15 years' service in the United States and currently director of the China Information Service in New York City.
A spokesman for Taiwan's liaison office in Washington, describing the matter as "delicate," said that Loh had been called back for "consultation." The spokesman added that Loh would get a new assignment and "probably will not come back."
However, Ray S. Cline, director of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies and a critic of President Carter's China policy, said:
"The State Department brought pressure to bear leading to 'Gene' Loh's withdrawal on a short deadline."
According to one version, on which the State Department refused to comment, the U.S. government advised Taiwan around Jan. 19 that Loh should be withdrawn from the country within 72 hours or he would be asked to leave on grounds of undiplomatic conduct.
Loh left on the same day that his letter appeared in The New York Times saying that "unles Peking forsakes communism and restores freedom to the people of China, there will be no negotiations with Peking."
On Dec. 26, the New York Daily News published a longer letter in which Loh said that he could "see why the leaders of Israel are nervous about the value of American promises."
Loh8s letter went on to urge that friends of Taiwan "write senators and congressmen urging Congress to adopt resolutions guaranteeing that adequate defense supplies will be sold to Taiwan," and describing the American initiatives as "shabby treatment" for the 17 million people of Taiwan.
The Carter administration has been moving ahead with its plan for setting up a private corporation to handle U.S. relations with Taiwan, despite mounting congressional demands for greater security guarantees.
As of Jan. 1, Taiwan's embassy here was downgraded to the status of a liaison office. The Carter administration has been pressing Taiwan authorities to accept its plan for representation through a private corporation as of March 1, the same day that the United States begins full diplomatic re lations with the Peoples Republic of China
Taiwan's reluctance to accept this formula is seen by diplomatic observers as complicating the Carter administration's efforts to get Congress to authorize federal funding of a proposed private U.S. "institute" to handle trade and cultural relations.
Groups opposing President Carter's new China policy have been adding to the pressures on the administration with demonstrations and speeches. Pro-Taiwan organizations demonstrated yesterday against the visit of China's Vice Premier Teng Hsiaoping. Chinese-language newspapers in the United States have carried advertisements calling on friends of Taiwan to demonstrate, and leading Taiwanese businessmen have placed advertisements in the Washington Post and other newspapers criticizing the Carter policy.
A Justice Department official said yesterday that there is no evidence so far that these activities violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act.