Biden Sends Former Defense Officials To Taiwan In Show Of Support
US President Joe Biden will send a delegation of former senior defense and security officials to Taiwan on Monday, a senior official of his administration said in support for the island claimed by China after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Photo Insert: Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen
The visit, led by one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, comes at a time when Taiwan has stepped up its alert level, wary of China taking advantage of a distracted West to move against it, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom reported for Reuters.
Beijing claims the democratically-governed island as its own despite not having governed it for a single second and has vowed to bring it under Chinese control, by force if necessary.
Mullen, a retired Navy admiral who served as the top US military officer under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, will be accompanied by Meghan O'Sullivan, a former deputy national security advisor under Bush, and Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense under Obama, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Two former National Security Council senior directors for Asia, Mike Green and Evan Medeiros, will also make the trip, which is intended to "demonstrate our continued robust support for Taiwan," the official told Reuters. Taiwan is buying F-16 fighter jets, M-1A1 main battle tanks, helicopter gunships, and submarines from the US.