A delegation of former senior U.S. defense and security officials, led by former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, visited Taipei on Tuesday, March 1 at 4:13 PM. China later denounced the visit.
This is a concrete move by the U.S. to demonstrate its firm security commitment to Taiwan, especially when the situation in Ukraine is tense.
Led by Mullen, the delegation includes Meghan O’Sullivan, a former deputy national security adviser under Bush, Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense under Obama, and two former National Security Council senior directors for Asia, Mike Green and Evan Medeiros.
They were greeted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on arrival.
The American delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) on Wednesday to discuss regional peace and stability, among other topics.
A U.S. official told Reuters that the U.S.’ visit this time is intended to “demonstrate our continued robust support for Taiwan.”
Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the trip demonstrated “the importance of both the Taiwan-US relationship and Taiwan’s position,” as well as the United States’ unwavering support for the island. He further said, “It’s a very good thing.”
Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, highlighted, “The will of the Chinese people to defend our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is immovable. Whoever United States sends to show support for Taiwan is bound to fail.”
On Saturday, a U.S. warship sailed across the sensitive Taiwan Strait, in what the U.S. Navy called as a routine activity but China labeled as “provocative.”
On Tuesday, Wang went further, using even stronger terms.
“If United States is trying to threaten and pressure China with this then we need to tell them that in the face of the Great Wall of steel forged by 1.4 billion Chinese people, any military deterrence is but scrap metal,” he stated.
“The gimmick of having a U.S. warship sail through the Taiwan Strait should be left to those who foolishly believe in hegemony.”