Taiwan needs to be prepared, says GOP lawmaker

U.S. needs to boost preparations for defense of Taiwan from Chinese assault, GOP lawmaker says

Taiwan and the U.S. need to do more to bolster defenses against China’s encroachment in the Taiwan Strait, says a GOP lawmaker, part of a chorus of Republicans speaking up for the island.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told a hearing Tuesday that the U.S. needs to make sure Taiwan is prepared by “making sure our military has the training, equipment, everything we need.”

He also urged that the Taiwan government and its armed forces prepare an assault plan to defend against Chinese forces.

“You’ve got to have the capacity, in both our militaries, to defend your citizens and defend yourself from war if the alternative is surrender,” he said. “My hope is that we have a plan to defend Taiwan.”

A spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs did not immediately respond when asked whether veterans can be transferred to or from Taiwan.

Turner, who has made the mainland China a personal campaign issue, also said if Taiwan were attacked by the People’s Liberation Army, the U.S. would use “every resource of our government and our military” to help defend Taiwan.

The U.S. has a key ally in Taiwan but some Republicans in Congress have expressed doubts about the mainland China should be allowed to back Taiwan.

President-elect Donald Trump and his senior aides continue to press allies and adversaries to find common ground on trade, security, and other issues despite a deepening split in U.S. policy toward China. But the U.S. and China are likely to remain at odds on numerous other fronts, including Taiwan.

Turner spoke during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. security challenges. He appeared alongside Rep. Michael McSweeney, R-N.Y., who is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s policies toward China.

Asked why the U.S. needs Taiwan as an ally for “if you’re going to be an ally, you should get a say,” Turner responded: “You’re getting a say.”

He said Taiwan remains a “very strong political and economic ally” but said the U.S. needs to make it “more militarily and technologically prepared, just like the rest of the world, to defend

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