TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) on Friday (July 17) announced that he will introduce a bill this week that would authorize the U.S. to use military force if China invades Taiwan.
In an Friday interview with Lou Dobbs on an episode of Fox Business titled "Red Storm Rising," when Dobbs asked Yoho if the U.S. is doing enough to protect allies such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan from China's aggressive military posture in the region, Yoho described the trilateral arrangement between the U.S., South Korea, and Japan as "one of the strongest relationships in national security." However, when it comes to Taiwan, Yoho asserted that the U.S. is not doing enough.
Yoho, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-sponsor of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, said that since the days of Henry Kissinger, the U.S. has maintained a policy of "strategic ambiguity" between Taiwan and China. Yoho then announced he is introducing a bill in the coming week called the "Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act" that will "lay very clear what our intent is."
The congressman then stated that the law would provide Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) if China invades Taiwan. He said that the AUMF would have a sunset provision of five years that would authorize the commander-in-chief to order military action against China.
He pointed out that going back to the Reagan administration, the U.S. has a policy of providing weapons for Taiwan to defend itself. Yoho then warned that "Xi Jinping has announced that he is ready to draw blood over Taiwan and 'reunify' them. They forgot to ask Taiwan."
Yoho explained that Taiwan has in fact never been part of communist China, "nor do they want to." Indeed, a poll released earlier this month showed that 67 percent of people in Taiwan consider themselves Taiwanese, while 27.7 percent support “maintaining the status quo and moving toward independence,” the highest level reported since 1994, and only 0.7 percent said they would be in favor of immediate unification with China.
The representative called for peaceful negotiations and closed by saying, "we'll see how this pans out."
In response to Yoho's announcement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the ministry is thankful for "a number of friendly measures passed by the Senate and House in recent years to demonstrate the emphasis placed on the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait through concrete actions." Ou then added that MOFA will continue to monitor the matter and "maintain close contact with friends in the U.S. Congress and the executive branch to defend Taiwan’s free and democratic lifestyle and jointly promote regional peace, stability, and prosperity."