The Republican presidential candidates have been reluctant to commit to sending U.S. troops to Taiwan following a Chinese attack. They told the Daily Caller they wouldn’t go as far in defending the island nation as President Joe Biden had promised.
Biden has said repeatedly that the U.S. will intervene militarily in the event China moves against Taiwan. The Chinese communist government views Taiwan as a rebellious province. The White House stressed that Biden’s remarks did not change America’s long-standing policy of “strategic neutrality” toward Taiwan, and that the U.S. continues to adhere to the “One China Policy.”
The Daily Caller reported that in conversations with most Republican presidential candidates, they did not express support for the deployment of U.S. forces. Former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis refused to comment. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Larry Elder from North Dakota both stressed deterrence. Four GOP candidates — Vivek RAMASWAMY, Larry Elder Mike Pence, and Asa HUTCHINSON — have said that they are open to the possibility of sending U.S. troops to Taiwan to defend Taiwan.
Ramaswamy said that he will “intervene militaryy so long as the U.S. remains dependent on Taiwan for its semiconductors.” But “hasn’t said whether it would be boots on ground or what that look like,” Tricia McClaughlin, Ramaswamy’s spokesperson, told The Caller. The conservative entrepreneur had also floated the idea to provide Taiwanese civilians with AR-15 rifles as well as firearms training.
How can we protect Taiwan from war with China? Open a branch office of the @NRA on Taiwan. Give every family an AR-15 and teach them how to use. This will give Xi Jinping a sense of American exceptionalism. pic.twitter.com/jLjcown8r2
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) June 4, 2023
Elder told The Caller that “we would not tie our hand by making an agreement now for a hypothetical future situation, but we’d be open to all options.”
Pence spokesperson Devin O’Malley said to The Caller that the former vice president is in favor of ensuring that the U.S. Military has the posture necessary to defend Taiwan.
O’Malley said that Pence is in favor of “ensuring a strong military force to compete with a Chinese Communist Party, a resurgent Russia and postures to defend NATO’s Eastern flank as well as Taiwan”, by expanding the Navy, and “boosting our strategic presence in this region, including through strengthening strategic alliances with partner countries in East Asia Southeast Asia and South Asia.”
Hutchinson stated, “I am in favor of sending a clear message to China that we will not tolerate an attack on Taiwan’s territory and freedom.” We will support Taiwan and provide it with military aid in order to assist Taiwan in defending itself.
“We must make it clear that we reserve the right to send American military forces if, in our opinion, they could assist Taiwan in defending itself. We will stand by Taiwan and our other allies throughout the Indo-Pacific. The former Arkansas Governor added that it is important that China understands that any aggressive action will be met with a strong American response.
Haley explicitly stated that she will not support Biden’s commitment.
Haley told a CNN Town Hall that she would ensure the troops had the right equipment, ammunition, and training to fight for themselves.
“Nikki Haley always insists that America stands by its allies from Israel to Ukraine and Taiwan. It is our policy to stop a war from happening in Taiwan. This means giving Taiwan the weapons necessary to defend itself against Chinese aggression, and ensuring the U.S. Navy presence in the Taiwan Strait is strong”, Ken Farnaso told The Caller.
Burgum, who began his presidential campaign in June, took a similar position to Haley, but without explicitly ruling out an American military response.
“Our goal should be to prevent China from attacking Taiwan by preparing ourselves to defend Taiwan if needed. Burgum said that this requires a focus on both economic statecraft and military deterrence, something we do not see from the current administration.
Tim Scott, Republican South Carolina Senator, has refused to answer the hypothetical question about how he would respond to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. However, he has said that the U.S. “must continue to provide resources to the Taiwanese Military” and “we must stand side by side with the Taiwanese Government and military when it comes defending what we consider to be our ally.”
Former U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Philip Davidson said that the Communist power would try to seize the island in 2027. A half of Americans believe that a war between China and the U.S. is “likely.”