TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida on April 1 wrote an opinion piece arguing that Washington should do more, including working with allies, to protect Taiwan’s freedom and prevent the nation from becoming the next Hong Kong.
In a piece published in the Washington Examiner called “Communist China ended Hong Kong’s democracy. Will Biden let Taiwan be next?” Scott contended that after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced reforms to Hong Kong’s electoral system in early March, the "one country, two systems" framework effectively ceased to exist.
The CCP’s decision to require all candidates running for seats in Hong Kong's legislature to be approved by a committee loyal to Beijing now means that “anybody who holds office in Hong Kong will be a puppet for Xi and beholden to China’s communist ideals,” Scott stated.
He added that Hong Kong’s freedoms will be curtailed to suit the interests of China and that democracy in Hong Kong will end. Scott noted that Hong Kong is now completely under Chinese control and said Beijing’s eyes are already fixed on Taiwan.
“It is now more important than ever for President Joe Biden to work with our allies to contain Beijing’s reach and protect the freedom and security of Taiwan,” he said.
The senator remarked that Taiwan is a democracy independent of the CCP and a vital contributor to international peace and stability. Furthermore, the East Asian nation’s own political situation is of security and economic interest to the U.S.
Scott mentioned the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act that he had introduced in the Senate to “reaffirm U.S. policy toward Taiwan and end the 'strategic ambiguity' that has been implicit in our [Taiwan] policy.” The proposed bill would authorize the president to use military force to protect Taiwan during an invasion, increase military support for Taiwan through the State and Defense departments, and require the president to visit Taiwan and declare the U.S.' commitment to protecting the country in the event of an enemy attack.
Though Scott criticized Biden’s “abysmal record” regarding Taiwan in the past, he acknowledged that the recent announcement from the Biden administration of its agreement with Taiwan to establish a new Coast Guard Working Group to curb the aggression of China is “welcome news.” However, Biden must do more to show the world his administration stands with the Taiwanese, he stated.
Scott called on Biden to work with allies including Japan, Australia, and India to “stand up for democracy, reject appeasement of communist China, and stress that its actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan threaten our security interests and those of other democracies across the world.” A strong partnership, he stated, “can curb communist China’s Soviet-style tactics to expand communism and upend regional stability, and Biden should lead our allies in developing a strategy that will meet future Chinese expansionist moves with joint action.”
The senator concluded that by working together, “the freedom-loving nations of the world can prevent what happened in Hong Kong from being repeated in Taiwan.”