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US should be clear about defense commitments to Taiwan: DOD nominee

Biden's pick for deputy defense secretary supports continual efforts to enhance Taiwan’s self-defense

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Kathleen Hicks. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Kathleen Hicks. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Kathleen Hicks said Tuesday (Feb. 2) that Washington should be "crystal clear" about its commitments to Taiwan and help reinforce the country's defenses against China.

During her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) asked Hicks to comment on China's recent incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). He noted that the U.S. has been ambiguous about what it would do to defend Taiwan.

Hicks responded that both President Joe Biden and Congress have voiced support for the East Asian country and that the U.S. will continue to operate in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the Six Assurances to Taiwan, and the Three Communiqués with China. She added that the U.S. must enhance its own deterrence capabilities in addition to Taiwan's self-defense through close cooperation.

Meanwhile, Hicks agreed with Senator Josh Hawley's (R-MO) statement that Beijing would be less likely to attempt a "fait accompli" against Taiwan if it knows the U.S. could defeat its efforts. She said Taiwan should also be active in its own defense under in a scenario.