Congressman Building GOP Support to Recognize Taiwan Independence, as Republicans Push Tougher Stance on China

‘My first Congress … I was the sole sponsor. We had 30 sponsors last session, and now we have 50 in this session of Congress.’

Congressman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) has seen growing Republican support for a resolution he’s sponsored to end the so-called “One-China” principle and recognize Taiwan as a separate independent country.

Mr. Tiffany introduced his resolution in January and it has received the support of dozens of Republican cosponsors. Last week, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) became the 50th cosponsor of the resolution.

“My first Congress that I was here, I introduced this, and I was the sole sponsor. We had 30 sponsors last session, and now we have 50 in this session of Congress,” Mr. Tiffany told NTD’s “Capitol Report” on Wednesday. “So it really shows that members of Congress are becoming more and more aware of the threat of China.”

Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, but the People’s Republic of China (PRC) considers the island a part of its territory. The PRC refers to this position as the “One-China” principle. Throughout the history of this dispute over territorial control, the United States has maintained an ambiguous position on the matter.

In 1972, then-President Richard Nixon stated it is the U.S. position “that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China” but did not explicitly state whether the Taiwanese government or the PRC government had the rightful claim of control over China. President Nixon further expressed the U.S. position seeks “a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.”
In a subsequent 1979 communique, then-President Jimmy Carter said “the United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China” but said the United States would continue its ties with Taiwan “through nongovernmental means.” In the period since these two statements, the United States has indeed continued to interact with Taiwan on an unofficial level, including weapons sales to Taiwan, but has left unclear whether the U.S. military would intervene on Taiwan’s behalf in the event that the Chinese communist regime attempted to assert its territorial claims over Taiwan through military force.

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Mr. Tiffany’s resolution calls for the president of the United States to abandon this ambiguous position, recognize Taiwan as an independent nation separate from the PRC, and reestablish formal U.S.–Taiwan relations.

“We need to have an administration that’s going to be strong enough to stand up and say that we are going to support Taiwan,” Mr. Tiffany said.

The Wisconsin Republican credited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for visiting Taiwan last year and said some of Democrats “have shown some strength” on the Taiwan issue, but expressed uncertainty as to whether President Joe Biden would stand against the PRC on that issue.

Some Caution Against Antagonizing China

While Mr. Tiffany has seen growing support for his resolution to recognize Taiwanese independence, some proponents of the existing U.S. policy on Taiwan say it is the best means available for avoiding a direct bloody conflict with China.

During his Oct. 20, 2021, confirmation hearing, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns advocated that the United States stick by the policies on Taiwan and China that it has held since 1979, noting the United States maintains the ability to provide arms to Taiwan under these existing policies. Mr. Burns said these policies “can succeed if we execute it consistently and with some strength.”
After Ms. Pelosi visited Taiwan last year, Doug Bandow—of the libertarian CATO Institute—wrote that her trip and other moves that suggest a more open U.S. stance toward Taiwan only pushed the United States and China closer toward armed conflict over the island. Mr. Bandow noted that after Ms. Pelosi announced her visit, the Chinese military stepped up its presence around Taiwan and conducted military drills near the island.

“Rather than dissuade the PRC from acting, Pelosi almost certainly has accelerated what is likely to become a political and economic crisis, and which could easily turn into a military crisis,” Mr. Bandow wrote. “Washington cannot expect Beijing to back down: Taiwan matters far more to China, its people as well as leaders, than America. The PRC consequently will spend and risk much more.”

Republicans Push Tougher China Stance

In addition to Mr. Tiffany’s resolution to declare strategic clarity on the Taiwan issue and fully recognize Taiwanese independence, other Republicans who recently spoke with NTD News called for the United States to be more willing to challenge China on a range of issues.

Speaking with “Capitol Report” on Thursday, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb). said the United States should “modernize our nuclear forces” and “build up our alliances” to counter China’s growing military power.

Mr. Bacon said the United States shouldn’t seek a war with China and predicted a full economic decoupling between the two nations is unlikely, but said the United States could do more to “de-risk” U.S.–China trade relations and warn U.S. firms to be wary of intellectual property theft when working with China.

“We’ve got to remember, they’re not a state that shares our values, and we need to be clear about that with them and the world. You know, they want to expand trade with their neighbors, but we’ve got to remind their neighbors what China is doing to its own people,” Mr. Bacon said.

In a separate interview with “Capitol Report,” Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) specifically criticized President Joe Biden, saying he looked weak while meeting with Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping this week.

“I’m not very impressed with the way that our president is conducting himself right now. It is rather stunning to me how weak he appears,” Ms. Hageman told “Capitol Report” on Wednesday.

She said President Biden should have more readily confronted Mr. Xi on issues like Chinese intellectual property theft and the flow of Chinese-produced fentanyl into the United States.

According to a White House readout of President Biden’s meeting with Mr. Xi, the two did in fact discuss resuming bilateral efforts “to combat global illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl.” The White House said President Biden also raised concerns about Chinese human rights abuses and about U.S.–China trade policies that disadvantage U.S. firms.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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