Defense

Former top Pentagon officials going to Taiwan in show of support

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President Biden is sending a delegation of former defense and national security officials to Taiwan this week in a show of support, a senior administration official told Reuters.

The delegation, led by former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, will leave Tuesday afternoon stay until Wednesday, the outlet reported.

The group is expected to meet with top Taiwanese officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng.

Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., confirmed the visit on Twitter, saying “welcoming this gesture of strong bipartisan support for Taiwan.”

The State Department referred questions about the delegation to the White House, which didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

The trip comes as China, which sees Taiwan as part of its own territory, steps up its provocations against Taipei. Last week, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that nine Chinese aircraft entered its air identification zone.

The U.S. adheres to the 40-year-old “One China” policy, in which it recognizes Beijing as the sovereign authority over China, including Taiwan. But Washington maintains informal ties with Taipei and is legally obligated to ensure that it can defend itself in the face of an attack. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to travel to Taiwan this week, where he will meet with Taiwan’s foreign minister and give a speech at a think tank.

Mullen will be joined by former deputy national security adviser Meghan O’Sullivan and former Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, Reuters reported. Also expected to go are Mike Green and Evan Medeiros, both of which were senior directors for Asia on the National Security Council. 

“The selection of these five individuals sends an important signal about the bipartisan U.S. commitment to Taiwan and its democracy, and demonstrates that the Biden administration’s broader commitment to Taiwan remains rock solid,” the administration official told Reuters. 

Updated: 11:30 a.m.

Tags Joe Biden Mike Pompeo

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