Taiwan will get Trump’s support if he wins, ex-appointee says

A former US ambassador appointed by Donald Trump said on Saturday he believed the former president would again support Taiwan if he wins back the White House. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory despite Taipei’s objections, received strong support from the Trump administration from 2017-2021, including through arms sales that have continued under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Trump spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, shortly after winning the election, sparking anger in Beijing (as the United States does not officially recognize the Taiwanese government) and joy in Taipei. James Gilmore, Trump’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, told reporters in Taipei that Trump was not an isolationist but was trying to get US allies to take their own defense more seriously.

“I believe President Trump will support Taiwan if he becomes president. He was in his first term,” Gilmore said, when he visited Taipei to speak at Taiwanese think tank the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, will face Biden, a Democrat, in a rematch in November’s presidential election.

Gilmore will meet Tsai during his trip, but not newly elected President Lai Ching-te, who takes office on May 20 due to scheduling issues. He said he would report to Trump on his visit and pass on any messages from Taiwan if he received them.

“I fully expect to write a memorandum and submit it to President Trump. What he does with these memos that people send him, we don’t know,” he said. “But I decided I can be helpful.” Gilmore, the Republican governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, added that he thought the lines of communication between Taiwan and the United States were already strong and that he did not think he needed to serve as a messenger.

The United States has democratically become Taiwan’s main international backer and arms supplier, often to the ire of China, which has increased military and political pressure against the island. Taiwan has hosted several Republican lawmakers this year as part of bipartisan delegations visiting the island, including in February Mike Gallagher, then chairman of the House Select Committee on China.

Gallagher said during that trip that regardless of who wins the election, the US would continue to support Taiwan.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)