Top U.S. Official Invited On Taiwan TV For First Time In 40 Years

( )- For the first time in almost 40 years, a military officer with the United States will be making a guest appearance on a TV program with the Taiwan Defense Ministry.

A local paper in Taiwan reported Tuesday that the event would mark the first time it has happened since the United States and Taiwan ended their formal diplomatic ties more than four decades ago.

The United Daily News reported that Colonel Brady Crosier was invited to the TV show to speak about military cooperation during World War II. Crosier is a foreign area officer who’s posted to the American Institute in Taiwan. Essentially, that serves as the de factor embassy on Taiwan, since the U.S. doesn’t have one there.

Crosier’s appearance on the TV show will be a part of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of what were known as the Flying Tigers, or the First American Volunteer Group. It was one of the air units the U.S. formed to help the then-Republic of China against Japan in the Pacific theater.

It wasn’t until 1949 that the Communist Party under Mao Zedong overtook the nationalist ROC during the Chinese Civil War that the People’s Republic of China was founded.

When that happened, the previous government that was defeated fled over to Taiwan. To this day, the ROC moniker still remains.

Crossier will be part of a military educational program that’s being produced by the Political Warfare Bureau, which is part of the Ministry of National Defense in Taiwan. It will be broadcast on a public TV station.

The American currently is head of the AIT Office of Defense Cooperation. In addition to speaking about World War II, he’s also scheduled to talk about the United States’ current position on the Indo-Pacific area, as well as the importance of cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.

The Defense Ministry wouldn’t comment directly on Crosier’s appearance, but did say only “persons relevant to the theme” were interviewed for the program that’s meant to educate current officers and soldiers of the Taiwanese military.

In order for Crosier to make this historical appearance, it will first have to be sanctioned by the Department of State. That is likely to happen, as the Biden administration upheld a Trump administration move to remove protocols that have been in place for years that limited interaction between government officials of both Taiwan and the U.S.

In April, President Joe Biden released his new guidelines on the matter.

The Defense Ministry even had intentions to invite various U.S. officials to commemorate the Flying Tigers during the August 14 celebrations for Taiwan’s Air Force Day, according to a local media outlet.

However, those plans changed after another coronavirus outbreak started back in May.

Even though that won’t happen, the local media source said the TV appearance by Crosier could signal a “new method” of engagement between the two countries in the future.