U.S. needs to boost preparations for defense of Taiwan from Chinese assault, GOP lawmaker says The U.S. is at a ‘crossroad’ between the need for self-defense and ‘a policy of non-intervention’
In an interview this week with the Taiwan-based U.S. think tank U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia (R) sharply criticized China’s “dangerous” conduct, including the “illegal seizure” of disputed islands in the region. Forbes went so far as to warn that the U.S. will “reap the whirlwind” if it fails to come to grips with China’s actions.
“If we don’t respond to China’s military actions, it will happen in our direction,” Forbes said in the interview, released by The Hill last Monday. “Our strategic interests are not necessarily with China. We should be acting to enhance our relationship with China.”
The remarks are the latest installment in the debate over Washington’s approach to Beijing. In remarks made in October, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio called for a new policy of “non-intervention” in China’s rise, and an attempt to find a middle ground between the United States and China that reflects U.S. interests and concerns.
In the latest interview, Forbes also called for the U.S. and Taiwan to cooperate more closely in the fight against the island’s “great power” neighbor.
“I’m calling on [Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen] to take a lot more risks, to make greater commitments in our policy toward China,” Forbes said. “They need to take more risks because Taiwan is not simply a security interest in China, it’s really our strategic interest. They need to take risks that Taiwan needs to take to demonstrate to China that they are not going to take away Taiwan’s sovereignty, they are going to take Taiwan’s freedom when they take away Taiwan’s sovereignty.”
More importantly, Forbes said that the Taiwan President has to demonstrate a willingness to cooperate with the U.S. when it comes to defense of the island.