Former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen pledged continued U.S. engagement with Taiwan and warned of a potential use of force by China.
Mullen is visiting Taiwan leading an unofficial delegation sent by US President Joe Biden.
He met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei on Wednesday.
Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tsai said the resistance of the Ukrainian people was inspirational.
She added, “We in Taiwan want the world to know that we are determined to defend ourselves and maintain our free and democratic way of life.”
Tsai also thanked the Biden administration for keeping its promise to keep Taiwan safe by helping to build its self-defense capabilities.
Mullen said, “Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is not only an American interest, but also a global interest. He added that the United States would continue to oppose any unilateral change to the status quo.
He also said he wanted the Taiwanese people and U.S. allies and partners in the region to know that the United States stands firm on its commitments.
Observers say the United States is sending a message with Mullen’s visit that it aims to stay involved in Taiwan affairs.