Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News during his visit in Taiwan Friday that conflict with China was a “last resort,” but said so long as the American people support it, Congress will approve boots on the ground if Beijing attacks.
“Conflict is always a last resort,” he told Fox News from Taipei, adding that he and fellow lawmakers have traveled from Washington, D.C., to the island to “provide deterrence to China.”
In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Michael McCaul, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States House of Representatives, right, is welcomed by Taiwan’s deputy foreign minister Tah-ray Yui upon arrival in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, April 6, 2023. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)
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U.S. defense officials have warned that Chinese President Xi Jinping could look to invade Taiwan by 2027, and President Biden last year turned heads when he said he was prepared to send in troops to defend Taipei should Beijing launch an attack.
McCaul echoed these warnings and issued a reminder that Congress holds the power to authorize military force.
“If communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people,” he added.
In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Michael McCaul, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States House of Representatives, center left, and his wife Linda Mays McCaul, center right, gesture with Taiwan’s deputy foreign minister Tah-ray Yui, third from left, and their delegations upon arrival in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, April 6, 2023. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)
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Taiwanese residents told Fox News this week that they were skeptical over whether the U.S. would actually come to their aid following Washington’s refusal to deploy troops to Ukraine, though as McCaul pointed out the situations between Ukraine and Taiwan are vastly different.
“Taiwan is in a very different position from Ukraine,” McCaul said. “Number one, they’re not battle tested or ready. They are not prepared for war.”
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A People’s Liberation Army member looks through binoculars during military exercises as Taiwan’s frigate Lan Yang is seen at the rear, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. China has repeatedly entered the waters and airspace of Taiwan in the past several weeks, Taiwan defense officials have said. (Lin Jian/Xinhua via AP)
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“When you look at Ukraine, they had NATO supporting them. You don’t have NATO in the Pacific,” he continued. “That’s why when looking at Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Australia, we need to start having these discussions as a deterrent for peace.
“Because if not, we’re going to invite aggression and war,” McCaul warned.