‘Taiwan Is Not for Sale’: Expert Responds to Biden’s National Security Adviser Pick

November 28, 2020 Updated: November 29, 2020

A Taiwanese analyst has slammed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pick for national security adviser Jake Sullivan, saying that Sullivan previously appeared to support an idea that the United States should abandon its military support for Taiwan in exchange for the Chinese regime writing off $1 trillion in U.S. debt it holds.

While Biden is described by most media outlets as President-elect, The Epoch Times will not declare a winner of the election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.

Biden recently chose Sullivan, a former senior official at Hilary Clinton’s state department, to be White House national security advisor should Biden take office.

A Taiwanese economist Wu Chia-lung voiced concern for the pick, pointing to his stance on Taiwan as revealed by a 2011 email he sent to then-Secretary of State Clinton, published by Wikileaks in 2016. Sullivan was the department’s director of policy planning at the time.

In the email, with the subject line “Interesting article”, Sullivan forwarded a November 2011 New York Times op-ed entitled “To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan.”

The piece, written by Paul V. Kane, argued that then-President Barack Obama should “enter into closed-door negotiations with Chinese leaders to write off the $1.14 trillion of American debt currently held by China in exchange for a deal to end American military assistance and arms sales to Taiwan and terminate the current United States-Taiwan defense arrangement by 2015.”

Kane added that “America has little strategic interest in Taiwan,” and that “[t]he island’s absorption into mainland China is inevitable.”

The Chinese regime views self-ruled democratic Taiwan as part of its territory to be united with the mainland, by force if necessary. The United States is required by law to provide Taiwan with military equipment for its self-defense.

Clinton replied to Sullivan’s email: “I saw it and thought it was so clever. Let’s discuss.”

Wu, in a Nov. 27  interview with NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times, expressed astonishment that the officials could have considered such a proposal.

“Taiwan is worth more than $500 trillion,” Wu said, citing its valuable industries such as semiconductor producers, and its key strategic facilities. “[It] has a military port, a natural home port for submarines in the east, and an airbase in the mountains.”

Despite the island’s high value, Wu emphasized that Taiwan is not for sale. The island’s location is of key strategic importance to the United States in the defense against potential Chinese military aggression, Wu added.

“People who say selling Taiwan for $1.14 trillion may have something seriously wrong with their heads,” he said.

Wu pointed out that during the Obama administration, the policy towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was to continue Bill Clinton’s approach of being anti-communist in speech and pro-communist in action. Wu noted that the Obama administration proposed actions targeting the CCP’s human rights abuses, but did not implement them.

The expert also criticized Biden’s plan to work with allies to put pressure on the CCP should he be elected. Wu said it would be difficult for other countries to resist the economic benefits of working with China. It would also be hard for countries to withstand the pressure that would be heaped on by the regime should it choose to stand up to the CCP, he added.