I'd like to know what National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's position is regarding deploying troops to Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack/invasion.

I've asked the related but different question What is Jake Sullivan's policy on arming and supplying Taiwan? separately as the answers may draw from different sources.

1 Answer 1


He doesn't have one.

A The assistant to the president for national security affairs is an assistant and an advisor who doesn't have a separate policy of their own. Even if you did view Biden as a stuffed shirt and Sullivan as the éminence grise actually running America's foreign policy, it's incumbent on Sullivan to get the president to adopt any suggestions before his ideas matter.

B The US has an extremely studied ambiguity towards Taiwan. It's not exactly the ROC or PRC's One China policy but since the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué it's not far off. The US doesn't formally acknowledge the existence of a separate government on Taiwan Island, even though the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act and other policies go out of their way to allow politically connected defense contractors to make money selling weapon systems to whoever might happen to live there.

C Trump warmed to Taiwan specifically to dig in against China and Biden has made a series of "gaffes" showing general confusion over what America's policy actually was and imagining that the TRA consistuted a defense pact. Given that he's the US president, his "confusion" is a de facto change in policy and the US has had dozens of military advisors on Taiwan for a year plus without talking to Congress about it. Sullivan has annoyed the Chinese by supporting Biden's new policies even behind closed doors and been even more belligerent in public (per The Global Times)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said [in early December 2021], "from the point of view of both deterrence and diplomacy," the US is going to take every action it can to make sure that the reunification of the Chinese mainland with the island of Taiwan by force "never happens"... This is the biggest boast made by a senior US official so far.

Certainly arms sales are going to continue. It's very possible there might be large loans provided, essentially Congress and the Pentagon paying US contractors for weapons to give to Taiwan in exchange for an IOU.

None of that is Sullivan, though. He's just representing Biden's maximalist position.

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