Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is calling for the Biden administration to sell Taiwan the military equipment needed for the self-ruled island to defend itself against a potential Chinese Communist Party invasion.
The comments by McConnell at a Tuesday news conference come in the wake of President Joe Biden stating that military involvement was on the table in the event of an invasion during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Monday. The White House later peddled back his remarks, with officials saying there is no plan to change current policy.
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“I gather, after walking back the president's comments, the administration has basically said that the policy under previous administrations remains the same. My suggestion to this administration is to sell the Taiwanese the weapons they would need that are appropriate for any potential Chinese invasion,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. “And that is the single strongest thing we could do to help the Taiwanese, just like we're helping the Ukrainians defend themselves if, in fact, they're attacked.”
The Kentucky Republican added that he feels the U.S. should continue sending resources to Ukraine as it fights back against Russia’s continued unprovoked attacks, arguing that showing the country stands by its allies should send a message to China.
“The single most important thing we could do to send a message to the Chinese is to continue to help the Ukrainians defeat Putin,” he said. “That's the view of the prime minister of Japan, the view of the defense minister of Japan, and it's the single most important thing we could do to push back against President Xi is to help the Ukrainians beat Putin in the war that's going on right now.”
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The U.S. has long adhered to the "One China" policy, which diplomatically acknowledges the communist People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government but maintains a “robust unofficial relationship” and investment in Taiwan's ability to remain sovereign.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin took aim at Biden’s comments on Monday, telling reporters that “China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to his remarks about military use, reiterating the CCP’s stance that Taiwan is part of its territory.