U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton unlikely to visit Taiwan: MAC

President Tsai wants to avoid sending the wrong signal to China

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U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton unlikely to visit Taiwan next month. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – United States National Security Adviser John Bolton is unlikely to visit Taiwan next month for the opening of the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) offices, an official at the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) told the BBC.

Bolton is known as a hardline supporter of Taiwan against China, and his presence had been expected as another sign that the administration of President Donald Trump favors the island, reports said.

However, MAC Deputy Minister Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) said in a BBC interview that even though he did not know what the final decision would be, he thought Bolton would not attend the AIT event.

“The reason is simple: even though China is giving us a lot of pressure, our president is still hoping to express goodwill toward China, and does not want to stir up trouble,” the BBC quoted Chang as saying.

Since coming to office in May 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has emphasized the status quo in relations with China, even though Beijing has recently stepped up its actions against Taiwan by luring away the Dominican Republic and by repeatedly sending air force jets and navy warships close to the island.

If Taiwan invited Bolton to visit, it would send China a signal about Taiwan-U.S. relations growing even closer, but Tsai did not want to send such a signal, Chang said, according to the Central News Agency.