Pro-Taiwan Inhofe likely to succeed McCain at head of Senate Armed Services Committee

Inhofe most recently visited Taiwan last February

Senator James Inhofe meeting President Tsai Ing-wen last February.

Senator James Inhofe meeting President Tsai Ing-wen last February. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The strongly pro-Taiwanese Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, 83, is likely to take over leadership of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee following the passing away of Senator John McCain, reports said Tuesday.

Inhofe wrote letters to President Donald Trump encouraging him to sell the advanced F-35 fighter jet to Taiwan and to send a Cabinet member to attend last June’s inauguration of the new American Institute in Taiwan offices in Taipei, the Voice of America reported. He also visited Taiwan last February.

While both McCain and Inhofe were supporters of a strong defense and passed through US$716 billion of defense spending, billions more than the White House requested, McCain often clashed with Trump, while the Oklahoma Senator is known as a traditional Republican loyal to the president, Reuters reported.

Inhofe has been a member of the Senate since 1994 and is less likely to criticize the military establishment and its spending practices, according to the news agency.