Lindsey Graham says ‘open to’ sending US forces to defend Taiwan against China

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s said he’s open to using U.S. military forces to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion as tensions rise between the U.S. and China following Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s diplomatic visit with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham also recommended training Taiwanese forces more aggressively to prepare for a possible blockade of the island nation.

“I think they’re setting the stage possibly for a blockade of Taiwan, that the Communist Chinese party is going to test us dramatically this year and the next before the election,” Graham said. “In 1961, the Russians tried to isolate West Berlin. So, I’m fearful that the Chinese may be setting conditions to blockade Taiwan in the coming months or weeks, and we need to respond forcefully if they do that.” 

“We need to blockade oil shipments coming from the Mideast to China and let them know if you blockade Taiwan, we’re going to cut off your oil,” he continued. “We need to train more aggressively Taiwanese forces so they can fight like the Ukrainians. We need to put nuclear missiles back in our submarines. Biden won’t do it. The military has asked for nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to be put back in submarines like the Russians did. And we need more forces in the region. If you do those things, you could deter a blockade.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), in an interview with Fox News, denounced China’s actions and called for the U.S. to remain committed to Taiwan. 

“These are intimidation tactics and saber-rattling, in my judgment, only firm up our resolve against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It has no deterrent effect on us. In fact, I think it galvanizes the United State’s support for Taiwan,” McCaul said. 

READ MORE: China launches war games around Taiwan

McCaul’s sentiments were echoed by Graham, who stated unequivocally that he supported the use of American forces to defend Taiwan. 

“Nobody wants a World War III, but what kind of world do you want to live in? Do you want to live in world where an ally called Taiwan can be taken by China? Ninety percent of the high-end chips are made in Taiwan – they’d have a monopoly on the digital economy. Do you want Putin to just take whatever he wants in Europe? I don’t want to live in that kind of country,” Graham said. “I believe in a ‘One China’ policy, but I would be willing to fight for Taiwan because Taiwan is a democracy, we stood with them for decades. So Taiwan is not the problem. Lindsey Graham is not the problem. It’s Putin and it’s Xi.”

“I’d very much be open to using U.S. forces to defend Taiwan because it’s in our national security interest to do so,” Graham later added.

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