U.S. committee chair McCaul states authority to declare war if Beijing attacks Taiwan

Michael McCaul (left) and William Lai Ching-te (right).

28th May 2024 – (Taipei) During his visit to Taipei, Michael McCaul, Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, emphasized that his committee holds the authority to declare war should Beijing launch an unprovoked attack on Taiwan. Speaking on the second day of a five-day delegation visit to the island, McCaul clarified that while the power to declare war rests with the US Congress, his focus is primarily on ensuring such a scenario never transpires.

McCaul highlighted the importance of deterrence as the key strategy in preventing potential conflict. “My job right now is to ensure we do everything possible to avoid that situation,” McCaul stated, underscoring his commitment to maintaining peace through strength.

The visit, which is part of a bipartisan effort and the first since the recent inauguration of Taiwanese leader William Lai, comes amid heightened tensions following significant military exercises by Beijing. These were perceived as a direct response to what China considered provocations from Taiwan’s new administration.

Recognising the strategic challenges, McCaul asserted the US’s commitment to equipping Taiwan with necessary defence capabilities under the Taiwan Relations Act. This includes expediting the delivery of long-awaited weapons systems to enhance the island’s deterrence capabilities against potential aggression from mainland China.