Amid growing fears that China is taking advantage of Western distractions over the Russia-Ukraine conflict to attempt an invasion of the island of Taiwan, the United States on Tuesday, March 1, sent a delegation to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen. The Chinese regime described this visit as ‘useless’, Taiwan News reported.
A delegation of former top U.S. defense and security officials led by Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in Taipei on Tuesday, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
Mullen, a retired Navy admiral who served as the top U.S. military officer under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, traveled accompanied by Meghan O’Sullivan, former deputy national security adviser in the Bush era, and Michele Flournoy, former deputy defense secretary under Obama.
Taiwan’s premier welcomed the trip saying, “President Biden sending this senior delegation to Taiwan at this time of great change in the world shows the significance of U.S.-Taiwan ties and Taiwan’s status, as well as the fact that the U.S. highly values regional peace.”
While Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, called it “useless” for the U.S. “to send anyone to show so-called support for Taiwan.”
During a press briefing on Tuesday, the regime spokesman said the US should “stop all forms of official interaction with Taiwan, and handle Taiwan-related issues in a prudent manner lest it should further undermine the larger interests of bilateral relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
It further urged the U.S. to abide by the “one China” principle and the Three Communiques and stop any form of official exchanges with the island.
China considers Taiwan as the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims the democratically governed island as its own and has vowed to unify it and bring it under Chinese control by force.
While Taiwan officials consider the risk of the Chinese regime launching an imminent attack in the strait to be low, Chinese military aircraft continue to invade the airspace around the island.
Regarding the full-scale war unleashed on Feb. 24, 2022, in Ukraine, President Tsai Ing-wen said, “I want to stress that the situation in Ukraine and in Taiwan Strait are fundamentally different, not only because of the natural barrier of the Taiwan Strait but also Taiwan’s geopolitical and strategic status.”
Nevertheless, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense stated that the country’s three armed forces are on high alert, closely monitoring what is happening in the Taiwan Strait, further assuring that the Taiwan Army will make the best preparations to safeguard national security.
On Feb. 24, the day Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, Taiwan detected nine Chinese military aircraft in its Taiwanese air defense zone (ADIZ). Two days later, the U.S. flew a destroyer across the strait, Bloomberg reported.
The U.S. entourage that set foot on Taiwanese soil will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday morning at the Presidential Palace, and in the afternoon with Chief Executive Su Zhenchang and Defense Minister Qiu Guozheng, CNA said.