• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Updated May 15, 2024, 12:01pm EDT

US to send delegation of ex-officials to Taiwan for Lai inauguration

Karel Picha/NurPhoto via Getty Images
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

The US plans to send a delegation of former government officials to Taiwan to attend the upcoming inauguration of president-elect Lai Ching-te, including President Joe Biden’s former top economic adviser Brian Deese.

The bipartisan delegation, which will arrive in Taipei this weekend ahead of the May 20 inauguration, will also include Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush; Brookings expert Richard Bush; and Laura Rosenberger, a former Biden White House national security official and the current chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, a senior Biden administration official told reporters. Deese stepped down as director of the White House National Economic Council last year.

The senior administration official described the plans for the delegation as in keeping with past precedent, and said that “Beijing will be the provocateur should it choose to respond with additional military pressure or coercion.”

AD

“We’ve been clear in our communications with Beijing that [the] US sending delegations” of former US government officials to inaugurations “is a longstanding practice,” the official said, citing delegations sent to Taiwan inaugurations in 2016 and 2012.

The move is likely to draw criticism from China, which claims Taiwan as its territory. The Chinese government reacted negatively to the delegation of former US officials sent to the self-governing island in January following Lai’s election.

“China firmly opposes the US having any form of official interaction with Taiwan and interfering in Taiwan affairs in any way or under any pretext,” Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said in response to a question about plans for the delegation.

AD

The delegation will congratulate Lai on his election and “emphasize the United States’ longstanding commitment in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the American Institute in Taiwan said in an announcement Wednesday.

Semafor Logo
AD