Biden Delegation in Taiwan Reassures Island of US Security Commitments

The delegation came ahead of a visit to the island by Mike Pompeo

President Biden sent a delegation of former US officials to Taiwan to reassure the island that the US will stand “firm” behind its security commitments, The South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

The delegation was led by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Mullen and included Michele Flournoy, a notoriously hawkish former Pentagon official who was once in the running to be President Biden’s secretary of defense.

“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 United States stands firm behind its commitments,” Mullen said during a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

According to the Post, Russia’s attack on Ukraine sparked debate in Taiwan over whether or not the US would intervene in the event of a Chinese invasion of the island. The US is not bound by any treaty to defend Taiwan but maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether or not it would intervene if China invades.

While the US hasn’t had formal relations with Taiwan since 1979, it has continued to arm the island. Earlier this month, the Biden administration approved a $100 million sale for Taiwan to improve its Patriot missile defense systems.

The Biden delegation’s trip to Taiwan came ahead of a visit to the island by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who arrived later on Wednesday. Upon his arrival, Pompeo called Taiwan a “great nation,” a comment sure to irk Beijing.

During Pompeo’s time in the Trump administration, the US took steps to boost informal ties with Taiwan and sent over the highest-level US officials to visit the island since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei. The Biden administration has continued the trend and encourages higher-level US contacts with Taiwanese officials.

Similar to how US meddling in Ukraine angers Russia, the US’s steps to boost ties with Taiwan anger China. Beijing views such actions as gradual steps towards ending the one-China policy and has repeatedly warned the US against encouraging “independence” forces in Taiwan. In January, China’s ambassador to the US warned that if Washington continues down this road, it could lead to war.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.