By Wu Su-wei
and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer
A US military officer on Thursday appeared on a Ministry of National Defense TV program for the first time since the countries severed diplomatic ties more than four decades ago.
US Army Colonel Brady Crosier, who heads the security cooperation office at the American Institute in Taiwan, was interviewed on Lu-Kang Garden (莒光園地) in a segment marking the 80th anniversary of the First American Volunteer Group of the Republic of China, also known as the Flying Tigers.
The Flying Tigers was a Republic of China Air Force unit comprised of US pilots that fought Japan in China and Southeast Asia in 1941 and 1942.
Screen grab by Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times
Crosier, who spoke in Mandarin throughout the segment, said the storied fighter unit is a testament to the long history of US-Taiwan security cooperation, based on the shared values of democracy and friendship.
Taiwan and the US continue to work closely on security matters, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, he said, adding that the US conducted search-and-rescue missions in Taiwan during Typhoon Morakot in 2009.
Kuo Yu-jen (郭育仁), a professor at National Sun Yat-sen University’s Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies, said that Crozier’s appearance was intended to reassure rank-and-file members of Taiwan’s military that the US is a friend.
The US began normalizing military exchanges with Taiwan under former US president Donald Trump, and trends suggest that US President Joe Biden would continue this policy, he added.
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