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Taiwan friend Matt Pottinger to serve as US deputy national security adviser

Pottinger is the former China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal

Matt Pottinger (right) in Beijing in 2017.

Matt Pottinger (right) in Beijing in 2017. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Matt Pottinger, a former Marine and China-based journalist, will be appointed deputy to the new U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, reports said Saturday (September 21).

On Twitter, the choice was hailed as positive for Taiwan by Rupert Hammond-Chambers, the president of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council. “Super news for US-Taiwan relations as Matt Pottinger moves on and up. He’s top-notch and an important asset in our effort to check PRC coercion and aggression,” Hammond-Chambers tweeted.

Pottinger's promotion follows President Donald Trump’s replacement of the previous national security adviser, John Bolton, with Robert O’Brien, an appointee welcomed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vice President Mike Pence lobbied for Pottinger’s promotion based on his performance as the National Security Council’s director for East Asia policy, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Pottinger worked as the Beijing correspondent for the Journal and later joined the Marines. Earlier this year, he was seen meeting a Taiwanese deputy foreign minister in the Solomon Islands, which announced a switch in recognition from Taiwan to China this week.