A delegation sent by the United States to Taiwan reiterated that America “stands firm to its commitments” to the independent island nation amid the conflict in Ukraine.

The delegation made up of former defense and national security officials arrived in the capital Taipei on March 1, where they were welcomed by Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu. Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, who formerly led the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, led the five-member delegation. It met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen the next day, March 2.

“We come to Taiwan at a very difficult and critical moment in world history. Now more than ever, democracy needs champions. I do hope by being here with you, we can reassure you and your people, as well as our allies and partners in the region, that the U.S. stands firm behind its commitments,” Mullen said in remarks delivered at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

The erstwhile Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman also praised the Taiwanese president for standing up “against the leading challenges of the times” – a clear reference to Taiwan’s western neighbor, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). “Whether it’d be a global pandemic or corrosive disinformation and malign influence, [Tsai’s government addressed them] without sacrificing core democratic values.” 

According to Tsai, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine – currently besieged by Russia – underscores the importance of cooperation and coordinated action among democratic countries. “History teaches us that if we turn a blind eye to military aggression, we only worsen the threats to ourselves. Now is the time for all democracies around the world to come together,” she said.

Mullen concurred with the Taiwanese leader, noting that the island nation stands at the front lines of defending democracy. “Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is not just a U.S. interest, but also a global one.”

China’s potential invasion of Taiwan mirrors Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The unannounced two-day trip came amid looming threats from Russia and China, two authoritarian nations threatening much smaller neighbors. The invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin drew parallels to a potential attack by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the island nation.

Taipei has rejected such comparisons in response, citing the island’s geographical advantages and global roles. Despite this, it has since stepped up its alert level. The island nation argued that Beijing might take advantage of Taiwan’s western allies being distracted by the Ukraine conflict and launch an assault.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump pointed out the possibility of communist China launching an attack on democratic Taiwan. He warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine serves to embolden Beijing into reclaiming the island nation by force. The PRC has long claimed that Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a province of the mainland. Given this, it has repeatedly committed to reclaim the island by force.

Trump issued this dire warning during a February interview on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.” He said: “China is [going to] be next. You know, China is [going to attack Taiwan.] Not with me, they wouldn’t have. They’re waiting [until] after the [Winter] Olympics. Now the Olympics [has] ended.”

Lisa Haven of “The Restricted Republic” expounded on Trump’s warning about China.

“Trump is seizing up this opportunity to issue a dire warning to the American people. A warning that I myself have given quite a few times, and a warning that we should all take to heart and take seriously – because so much is at stake,” she said. “It’s safe to say [that] according to Trump, he believes that the invasion of Taiwan is imminent and could happen sometime soon.”

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