US sends delegation to Taiwan amid ‘invasion’ fears — Analysis
Beijing has claimed the former Pentagon and National Security personnel’s trip is their support.
On Monday, President Joe Biden sent a delegation of ex-military and security officials to Taiwan. They will be meeting with President Tsai Ig-wen. The trip comes amid concerns in the US that Beijing may be enticed to invade the island having observed the US’ unwillingness to commit troops to Ukraine.
Initial reports by Reuters reported the visit, which was later confirmed by Taiwanese diplomats. Taiwan’s embassy in the US said the trip is “a sign that relations between Taipei and Washington remain ‘rock-solid’!”
Led by former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, the delegation includes Meghan O’Sullivan, a former deputy national security advisor in George W. Bush’s administration, and Michele Flournoy, a former under secretary of defense under Barack Obama. Evan Medeiros, a former National Security Council official, also traveled along with the delegation.
On Tuesday, the group is due to arrive at Taipei and will meet with President Tsai.
A similar trip took place under Biden’s direction last April, when a group of former lawmakers and diplomats traveled to Taiwan to assure Taipei that Washington would support the island nation’s defense. While the government in Beijing insists that Taiwan belongs to China, the US has unofficially supported Taiwanese independence, supplying weapons to Taipei even while recognizing China’s claim to the island.
The US has not signed any security agreements with Taiwan and never promised to protect the island by force. This non-committal position, coupled with the US’ refusal to commit troops to Ukraine in response to Russia’s military offensive there last week, has led to speculationThe US media suggests that Beijing might be being considered “an invasion.”
Last week, Donald Trump stated that China will be his number one priority. “absolutely” move on Taiwan during Biden’s presidency.
Taiwan is demonstrating that it’s open to such an initiative, even though there aren’t any signs. accusedLast week, the Chinese military tested its air defence zone using jets.
Speaking to Reuters, an unnamed US official declined to link the delegation’s trip with any increased threat, saying that it instead represented Biden’s “broader commitment to Taiwan.”
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