Trump appoints Taiwan advocate Randall Schriver to key Pentagon post

Schriver visited Taiwan several times, including last March

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Pentagon contender Randall Schriver during a visit to Taiwan.

Pentagon contender Randall Schriver during a visit to Taiwan. (By Central News Agency)

Randall Schriver (center) visiting then-President Chen Shui-bian (right) in 2008.

Randall Schriver (center) visiting then-President Chen Shui-bian (right) in 2008. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Frequent Taiwan visitor and advocate Randall Schriver will serve as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, the White House announced late Friday.

Schriver was deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2003 to 2005 and worked closely with deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage before becoming president and CEO of the Project 2049 Institute.

The White House said Friday it was intending to nominate Schriver for the Pentagon job, while the official nomination was likely to follow next week.

In a comment on the potential appointment, Defense News quoted a former Pentagon official describing the likely nominee as “very solid” and as “the last person to throw a temper tantrum, he has a very cool head and he thinks stuff through.”

Schriver is known as a long-time friend of Taiwan, and his efforts on behalf of improving U.S. ties with the island led him to earn the Order of the Brilliant Star from then-President Chen Shui-bian in 2005, the Central News Agency reported.

Last January, Schriver traveled to Houston to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen during her stopover on a trip to Latin America, while in March, he visited Taiwan again. However, the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear arms development might become his main concern, reports said.

The news of Schriver’s choice came as President Tsai was once again on her way to the U.S., for a stopover in Hawaii before her official visit to three diplomatic allies in the Pacific, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands.

On her way back, she will stop briefly in the U.S. territory of Guam, where, as in Hawaii, she will be met by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty, reports said.