Taiwan supporter Inhofe named Chair of US Senate Armed Services Committee

Jim Inhofe takes over from John McCain as Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee

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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 U.S. Senate announced on Sept. 6 that Jim Inhofe will take over from John McCain as Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Inhofe was the acting Chair of the committee while McCain took a leave of absence for brain cancer treatment, with the illness taking his life on Aug. 25.

Inhofe is the senior Senator from Oklahoma, representing the Republican Party, and has been a member of the Senate since 1994. He previously served two terms as the Congressman from Oklahoma's first district, as well as Mayor of Tulsa.

Inhofe is a long-time supporter of Taiwan, and is an advocate of closer Taiwan-U.S. relations in military and political spheres. He previously visited Taiwan last February, and met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Inhofe signed a group letter urging President Trump send a senior official to the opening of the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) office in June 2018, frequently called on the U.S. to support Taiwan to regain observer status at the World Health Organization, and is a keen supporter of the Taiwan Travel Act.

"America is facing new and unprecedented threats that are different from anything we've seen before. As chairman, it will be my priority to address these threats while maintaining a staunch commitment to service members and their families," Inhofe said in a statement on Sept. 5.