New US National Security Adviser O’Brien friendly to Taiwan: MOFA

O'Brien visited Taiwan in May 2016 and advocated support for the island democracy

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New U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien (right) with President Donald Trump.

New U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien (right) with President Donald Trump. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States' new National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien visited Taiwan in 2016 and is known to be friendly to the island country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday (September 19).

President Donald Trump removed his previous national security adviser, John Bolton, who was known as a hardliner on many issues but also as a fierce supporter of Taiwan, and announced O’Brien as his replacement on Wednesday (September 18).

The new adviser, a Mormon and former lawyer, has been working as a specialist in hostage affairs for the Department of State and received praise from both Democrats and Republicans, the BBC reported. He worked at the U.S. delegation to the United Nations when Bolton served as the ambassador to the global body.

Shortly after O’Brien visited Taiwan in May 2016, the National Interest published an piece of his in which he called on the global community to support the island’s democracy, MOFA said. The diplomat advocated closer ties between the U.S. and Taiwan in the article.