Home World news US Navy admiral makes unannounced visit to Taiwan, sources say

US Navy admiral makes unannounced visit to Taiwan, sources say


A two-star Navy admiral overseeing US navy intelligence within the Asia-Pacific area has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources instructed Reuters on Sunday, in a high-level journey that might vex China.

The sources, who embrace a Taiwanese official acquainted with the scenario, stated the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. The sources spoke on situation of anonymity.

According to the Navy’s web site, Studeman is director of the J2, which oversees intelligence, on the US navy’s Indo-Pacific Command.

The Pentagon declined remark. Taiwan’s international ministry confirmed on Sunday {that a} US official had arrived in Taiwan however declined to present particulars, saying the journey had not been made public.

China, which claims democratically-run Taiwan as its personal territory, reacted with fury when US Health Secretary Alex Azar got here to Taipei in August, adopted by US Undersecretary of State Keith Krach in September, sending fighter jets close to the island every time.

The Trump administration has ramped up assist for Taiwan, together with with new arms gross sales, alarming China.

It was not instantly clear whether or not Studeman’s visit could be seen as an escalation by Beijing. Still, he may very well be one of the high-ranking US navy officers identified to have visited Taipei lately.

Douglas Paal, a former head of the US consultant workplace in Taiwan who’s now with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated: “If it is Indopacom J2 Studeman, I know of no precedent for such a visit.”

But Randall Schriver, a former assistant secretary of protection for Asia through the Trump administration, stated Trump’s Pentagon had been quietly sending one-star flag officers to Taiwan on a routine foundation.

He famous that the United States and Taiwan had shut intelligence exchanges on the risk from China’s navy.

Bonnie Glaser, a regional safety skilled at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies assume tank, stated it will not be unprecedented for a US flag officer to visit Taipei.

Unmarked plane

Taiwan’s United Daily News printed footage of an unmarked non-public jet, which it recognized as being a US navy plane, arriving at Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport, and what appeared to be officers ready at its VIP terminal.

Data on the flight-tracking web site planefinder.web confirmed a non-public flight arriving from Hawaii – dwelling to the headquarters of the Indo-Pacific Command – into Songshan airport late Sunday afternoon, shortly earlier than the United Daily News printed the photographs on its web site.

In a quick assertion, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry stated there have been frequent interactions with the United States and that “we welcome the visit of the US official.”

“But as this itinerary has not been made public, based on mutual trust between Taiwan and the United States, the Foreign Ministry has no further explanation or comment,” it added.

However, it stated in a separate assertion that Taiwan media reviews {that a} delegation led by CIA chief Gina Haspel had arrived in Taiwan have been unfaithful, and that Haspel had no plans to come.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei declined to remark.

The United States, like most nations, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, however is the democratic island’s most vital worldwide backer and provider of arms.

Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang stated final week the cabinet-level head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, will visit Taiwan. US media stated that journey is probably going subsequent month.

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