Republican Texas Rep. Michael McCaul voiced his approval of President Joe Biden’s declaration to respond militarily if China invades Taiwan.
The president indicated during a Monday conference in Tokyo that the U.S. is willing to intervene militarily in the event that China invades Taiwan. He previously voiced “a commitment to” defend Taiwan during an October 2021 town hall. McCaul praised the president’s latest comment during a Monday segment of CNN’s “New Day,” telling host John Berman that deterrence is essential.
“I do think that’s a premature comment off the cuff and everybody listens to the Commander in Chief. However, I think deterrence is important here,” he said. “China needs to know that if it invades Taiwan, just like when Putin invaded Ukraine, there will be a response.”
“You said it’s a premature comment and off the cuff, but the President of the United States just said ‘yes, at some level the United States would get involved militarily.’ We don’t know what that is. Do you approve of that policy?” Berman pressed. (RELATED: Sullivan Dismisses Concerns Over Joint Statement From China And Russia, Rep. McCaul Disagrees)
“I don’t think the ntelligence community would appreciate this remark. Having said that, I personally kind of like it because it does provide a deterrent message that we will defend Taiwan,” the congressman said. “And coming from the president, it’s very, very strong. And I think China needs to understand that they can’t take this lightly and we’re not going to sit back idly and watch them invade Taiwan and the South China Sea. And just like Putin, it’s not a question of if but when he decides to do it.”
During a Monday appearance on “Fox & Friends,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Biden’s response to a potential attack on Taiwan was “exactly right.”
“I thought what President Biden did was exactly right,” he said, according to Mediaite. “Given the mess in Ukraine, and the degree to which I think the Russians did not believe that the western world would come to the defense of the Ukrainians — and now the much bigger war with worldwide implications of global famine and just enormous problems — I think here he is trying to be very clear.”
The White House immediately walked back Biden’s Monday comment, saying he “reiterated our One China policy” and the administration’s commitment to provide Taiwan with the “military means to defend itself.” The “One China” policy acknowledges the Chinese government’s position that it is the only government.
Biden said in 2021 that the U.S. believes China cannot take over the self-governing Taiwan by force. The federal government sends military aid to Taiwan in preparation of a potential attack, according to CNN.
Biden reportedly sent a team of former senior defense and security officials to Taiwan in late February after China voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.