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U.S. lawmakers affirm assist for Taiwan towards China’s ‘aggression’

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Michael McCaul, the U.S. Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, speaks throughout a press convention following a gathering with Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te, in Taipei, Taiwan May 27, 2024. 
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

A senior U.S. lawmaker affirmed on Monday Washington’s assist for Taiwan towards Chinese “aggression”, on the primary congressional go to to the self-ruled island because it swore in a brand new President.

Sitting down Monday morning with President Lai Ching-te, Representative Michael McCaul — who heads the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee — stated he and his colleagues stood in “strong support of this beautiful island”.

Three days after Mr. Lai was sworn in, Chinese warships and fighter jets encircled Taiwan in drills that Beijing stated had been a check of its capability to grab the island.

China claims democratic Taiwan as a part of its territory, and says it can by no means surrender the usage of pressure to convey the island underneath its management.

Mr. McCaul on Monday condemned these “intimidating military exercises”, saying they confirmed China was “not interested in taking Taiwan by peaceful means”.

“All democracies must stand together against aggression and tyranny,” Mr. McCaul stated.

“Whether it’s Putin in Russia, the Ayatollah in Iran or Chairman Xi next door to us in China, an unholy alliance is eroding peace around the world,” he advised Mr. Lai.

“Not since World War Two… have we seen such blatant violence and naked aggression,” he stated.

Mr. McCaul arrived in Taipei on Sunday accompanied by each Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

Mr. Lai thanked the lawmakers for his or her assist, saying he hoped the U.S. Congress would “continue to assist Taiwan in strengthening its self-defence capabilities”.

“I will enhance reform and bolster national defence, showing the world the Taiwanese people’s determination to defend their homeland,” he stated.

Beijing stated on Monday it “firmly opposes” the lawmakers’ go to.

China “made stern representations to the U.S., and will take the necessary measures to staunchly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated.

“China firmly opposes military contact between the US and Taiwan, opposes the arming of Taiwan, and urges the relevant U.S. lawmakers to… stop supporting and indulging Taiwan independence separatist forces,” Ms. Mao added.

‘Deterrence’ needed

The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, however Washington stays the island’s most essential ally and provider of army {hardware}.

U.S. President Joe Biden has stated he doesn’t assist Taiwan’s independence but additionally that he would again sending forces to defend the island. The official U.S. place on intervention is one among strategic ambiguity.

Mr. McCaul on Monday affirmed that the US Congress “on a bipartisan basis supports Taiwan”.

“We are not here as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans,” he stated.

The US Congress in April allotted $8 billion in army assist for Taiwan, enraging Beijing, which warned it could solely enhance the “risk of conflict”.

Asked on Monday how rapidly the U.S. was getting army assist to Taiwan, McCaul admitted: “I’d like to see it faster.”

“But they are forthcoming,” he stated.

Chinese President Xi Jinping “has bold and aggressive ambitions, and we just need to do everything we can to make it possible for him to see that the risk outweighs the reward”, he added.

“The key is to make sure that Taiwan has the weapons necessary for deterrence so when Xi’s looking at that calculation it doesn’t look good for him,” he stated.

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