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Senior U.S. Navy admiral makes unannounced visit to Taiwan

 

 

FILE – Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan. (REUTERS Photo/Tyrone Siu)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:56 AM PT – Monday, November 23, 2020

A U.S. Navy admiral recently made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, marking a high-level trip that could stir things up with China. Although Taiwan is a democratic and self-ruled island, Beijing claims it as its own territory.

According to Reuters, two sources said the officer was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. He’s two-star officer who oversees military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. is Taiwan’s biggest international backer, although it has no formal diplomatic ties with the island. Support has only increased under President Trump, including a boost in arms sales. However, this latest visit could spark a furious response from China.

Back in August, Beijing scrambled fighter jets near the island when U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited the capital city of Taipei. It repeated the maneuver for a high-level U.S. State Department visit a month later.

It’s still not clear whether Admiral Studeman’s visit will be seen as an escalation by Beijing, but he could be one of the highest-ranking U.S. military officers known to have visited Taipei in recent years.

One analyst said that he knew of “no precedent for such a visit,” but a former defense official said the Pentagon has been sending one-star officers to Taiwan on a routine basis.

RELATED: China warns of action after Pompeo says Taiwan not part of China

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