27th May 2023 – (Washington) U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has urged the Biden administration to act urgently and project strength in the face of China’s increasing aggression towards Taiwan. McCaul made the call during a full committee hearing on 24th May, stating that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party pose a clear and present danger. He also called for greater cooperation between the AUKUS alliance and East Asian allies to prepare for a potential conflict over Taiwan.
McCaul criticised what he sees as the complacency of the Biden administration and the Pentagon, accusing them of hesitancy to show support for Taiwan and confront the challenge posed by Beijing. He also noted that the Tsai administration is still waiting for weapons packages that were paid for in full over four years ago. McCaul sees the AUKUS alliance as crucial to establishing and maintaining critical deterrence measures and chided the Biden administration for dragging its feet on upgrading and sharing military technology with Taiwan and AUKUS allies.
China has been increasing its military pressure on Taiwan, with numerous incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone and naval exercises near the island. The US has been a longtime supporter of Taiwan’s democracy and has sold weapons to the island in the past. However, there have been concerns over the Biden administration’s commitment to Taiwan’s defence, particularly given the administration’s focus on other areas of foreign policy.
In his remarks, McCaul stressed the need to take the threat from China seriously and not to underestimate the danger it poses to Taiwan and the region. He cited his visit to Taiwan in April and his discussions with President Tsai Ing-wen, who expressed frustration at the delay in receiving weapons packages paid for over four years ago.
McCaul emphasised that history has shown projecting weakness invites aggression, and called on the Biden administration to act with urgency and project strength to provide the deterrence necessary to secure peace in the region and around the globe. He also warned that the war in Ukraine has shown that weapons are needed before, not after, conflict erupts.