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US House committee demands China end military ops in Taiwan's ADIZ

House committee says Beijing has taken no actions to reduce Taiwan Strait tensions

(X, The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party image)

(X, The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. House of Representatives committee on China on Thursday (Nov. 9) put forward 10 demands they are requesting President Biden make when he meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) next week, including the cessation of Chinese military flights in Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Amid the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting which will be held in San Francisco, Nikkei Asia cited a U.S. government official as saying that Biden will hold a summit meeting with Xi on Nov. 15. Mike Gallagher, chair of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and 12 other representatives signed a letter sent to Biden on Wednesday (Nov. 8) calling on him to demand Xi respond to 10 action items to demonstrate Beijing’s sincerity in improving relations with Washington.

According to a copy of the letter posted on X on Thursday, the 10 demands include a cessation of military operations in Taiwan's ADIZ east of the Taiwan Strait median line, a cessation of "near-collisions and unsafe intercepts" of U.S. naval and air assets, the release of all U.S. citizens deemed to be wrongfully detained in China, immediately allowing all U.S. citizens facing an "exit ban" to leave China, and establishing know-your-customer requirements for imported fentanyl precursors.

The representatives also demanded that Beijing stop harassing Philippine ships carrying out supply operations in the waters around Second Thomas Shoal and release and withdraw the charges against Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai (黎智英) and the 47 Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates accused of conspiring to subvert state power under the Hong Kong national security law.

Gallagher and others pointed out that in Biden's first year, he took many tough measures against China, but over the past 18 months, there has been a significant pullback, especially on human rights issues. They criticized Biden for not imposing sanctions on any Chinese officials for eroding Hong Kong's autonomy or engaging in genocide in Xinjiang. They also noted that the Biden administration has been reducing the annual number of Chinese entities added to the Department of Commerce's Entity List.

They argued that while the Biden administration's outward stance on U.S.-China competition has not changed, it appears to be sacrificing competitive actions for a "zombie-like engagement" with Beijing. Despite continuous concessions from Washington, the representatives said that Beijing has not reciprocated and thus far taken "no action to reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait."

The congress members said the Biden-Xi summit provides a last chance for Biden to correct his "misguided policy," and the demands mentioned are the "bare minimum" for Beijing to demonstrate its "seriousness." They emphasized that if Xi fails to meet these demands, the U.S. government must abandon the pursuit of "zombie engagement" and adopt a more assertive posture to defend U.S. interests and values.