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Republican House Speaker says threat to Taiwan from China is serious

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Select Committee on China said on Saturday that the United States was aware of the threat posed to Taiwan as Beijing launched military exercises around the island in the aftermath of talks between the Taiwanese president and U.S. lawmakers. He said it must be taken seriously.

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who attended a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen in California last week, told The Associated Press that he plans to lead the committee to bolster the island government’s defenses and urge Congress to speed things up. said it was. Military aid to Taiwan.

Gallagher told the Associated Press that China’s President Xi Jinping is seeking to reunify Taiwan with the mainland, “I think it all just shows the obvious.”

“We need to move heaven and earth to strengthen deterrence and denial, and conclude that Xi Jinping cannot do it,” Gallagher said.

The Taiwanese government said China conducted exercises on Saturday with warships and dozens of fighter jets around the Taiwan area.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hosted Tsai in a bipartisan session at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. More than a dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives who were among the most sensitive stops as they passed through the United States. collected.

China’s response to Tsai’s passage to the United States has so far been less intense than it was after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year.

After the meeting, McCarthy and Tsai made cautious remarks about maintaining the status quo between the two countries, which do not have formal diplomatic ties, but the Sino-Japanese meeting enraged China.

The Chinese military has announced the start of a three-day “battle readiness patrol” as a warning to Taiwanese who wish to make the island’s de facto independence permanent.

Taiwan split with China in 1949 after the civil war, and the United States severed formal ties with Taiwan in 1979 and established formal diplomatic relations with the Beijing government.

Although the United States recognizes Beijing’s “one China” policy claim to Taiwan, it does not support China’s claims to the island and remains a major provider of military and defense support to Taiwan.

The ruling Communist Party has said the island is obliged to forcefully return to the mainland if necessary. Beijing says contact with foreign officials will encourage Taiwanese who want formal independence, a step the ruling party says will lead to war.

Chinese officials have condemned Ms Tsai’s meetings with lawmakers and announced sanctions against the two organizations that hosted her in the US, but so far they have not been as strong as the reaction to Ms Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan. .

Gallagher said China had warned U.S. lawmakers not to attend talks with Tsai.And after the talks, China urged the US to stay off the ‘wrong and dangerous path’

Gallagher, who toured Iraq as a US Marine, said US lawmakers would not be threatened by the Chinese.

“It’s an attempt to change the ideological battlefield, and it’s also an attempt to intimidate us and make us feel like we’re provoking a change in the status quo.

Gallagher said he hopes Congress will work to increase military engagement with Taiwan. He said the US needs to send weapons systems to Taiwan more quickly for defense.

One of the ideas that emerged from the meeting, he said, was for the United States to assist Taiwan with the technology to manufacture its own defense system.

In 2022, in the aftermath of Pelosi’s visit, China conducted its largest live-fire drill in decades, including firing missiles over the island.

Chinese officials did not say whether the ongoing drills would include repeats of previous exercises with missiles launched into the sea.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Republican House Speaker says threat to Taiwan from China is serious

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