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Top US officials and their link with the Defense sector

The US government is playing both sides. Regardless of accepting the One-china policy, its officials are openly supporting Taiwan. They justify their visits and supports by citing the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1977. By doing so, they undermine the foundation of Sino-US relations, which is based on accepting that Taiwan is a de facto part of mainland China. As a result of political activities of the top US officials, the US is supplying strategic weapons to Taiwan. Agreements have been made to deliver $19 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan by 2027. The Harpoon anti-ship missiles and F-16 fighter jets are among these strategic weapons.

There are many people in the US government who are personal stakeholders in these arms deals. On the front, they are working for stronger US-Taiwan ties. But in reality, the pro-Taiwan stance is merely a façade. Their personal gains are veiled behind supporting and visiting Taipei.

Mike Gallagher is among those stakeholders. Currently, he is a republican member of the House of Representatives (HOR).  Previously, he served as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps, and was also deployed to Iraq twice. Recently, he made a secret visit to Taiwan. He deliberately kept his visit quiet so that he could discuss the arms trade with the Taiwan government. In the four-day trip, he met with the Taiwanese president, vice president, defense minister, intelligence chief and other security officials.

Back in the Trump administration, the US decided to sell Harpoons anti-ship missiles to Taiwan. Interestingly, Riyadh had placed an order for Harpoon missile before Taipei. Gallagher is determined to deprioritize Riyadh. He wants Taipei to receive the order before Riyadh. His desperation shows his personal stakes in the deal. It is a point to be noted that Gallagher received $107,000 in his election campaign from the US defense companies. In order to get continuous support from the defense companies, he is actively pursuing the arms trade between US and Taiwan.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is not lagging behind closing the arms deals. Recently, he gained the limelight when he talked about visiting Taiwan to discuss security matters. His past is also questionable when it comes to supporting Taiwan. His family business is largely dependent on the arms trade with Taiwan. Since 2000, his brother-in-law has received $7.6 million worth of government contracts. His family company, Vortex, has built the Naval Air Weapons Station located in China Lake, and Naval Air Station Lemoore located in California. By pushing the Taiwan cause, he is aiming to get more federal contracts to enrich his family business.

Like Gallagher, McCarthy also receives aid from the US defense companies. In his 2021 election campaign, he received more than $100,000 as campaign funds from the defense sector alone. Lockheed Martin also funded his campaign. This is the same American company that manufactures the F-16 fighter jets which are planned to be sold to Taiwan.

Heidi Shyu is another such member of the US government. She is the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Born in Taiwan, she was the granddaughter of Taiwanese air force commander. Later, she moved to the US. Due to her Taiwanese roots and previous credentials, she is playing her role in strategically supporting Taiwan. She is a part of various US defense companies, many of which manufacture strategic weapons. She is a beneficiary of Boeing. Boeing manufactures the Harpoon missiles, the same missiles which the US has planned to send to Taiwan. This is clear conflict of interest in her job. She is using her government position and links with the defense companies to facilitate an arms deal with Taiwan. Some other strategic companies she works for include Raytheon Co., Plasan North America, VK Integrated Systems, Dedrone, etc.

Another person of interest in the arms trade is Randall Schriver. He is former assistant defense secretary of the US and has served in the US state and defense departments in many capacities. In the Trump administration, he played an important role in facilitating an arms deal with Taiwan. He also made possible the Taiwanese vice leader’s visit to the US.

A report published by the US Department of Justice exposed the Taiwanese authorities. It revealed that the Taiwanese government, especially the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), funds American executive and legislative officials to lobby the Taiwan cause. It also showed that the Taiwanese authorities fund think tanks and universities to get support for Taiwan. Therefore, it is an open secret that Taiwan spends huge amount of money in the name of educational exchange and research to buy American think tanks’ support.

Presently, Schriver is the head of the think tank called Project 2049 Institute. This think tank is famous its anti-China and pro-Taiwan rhetoric. It is clear who funds this anti-China think tank. Because of his close connections with the DPP of Taiwan, he was awarded the Order of the Brilliant Star award by the Taiwanese president back in 2005. He has connections with many US strategic corporations. He used to give consulting services to many US defense companies, such as Boeing, Raytheon, Dyncorp International, Armitage International LLC, etc. Undoubtedly, his political and financial gains are behind his pro-Taiwan stance.

These people are committing malpractice. The officials are using their powers to increase their personal worth. On the other hand, think tanks are spreading anti-China perspective in the name of academic research. These actions are compromising the One-China principle, which is the basis of the Sino-US bilateral relations. The extent of such malpractices could be greater. The facts and figures mentioned above are taken from the official documents of the people concerned. These are only declared funds; who knows how much these officials are actually receiving behind closed doors.