Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on Monday said he takes Chinese threats to invade Taiwan seriously, stating that he urged both President Donald Trump and Congress to cooperate militarily with Taipei.
Cotton's statement came in response to a senior Chinese diplomat's remark that China would employ its "Anti-Secession Law," which gives it the ability to use force on the island to prevent secession, if the U.S. sent navy ships there.
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"The day that a U.S. Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung is the day that our People’s Liberation Army unifies Taiwan with military force," Chinese media at the weekend quoted Li as saying, referring to Taiwan’s main port, according to Reuters.
"I take Beijing’s threats to use military force against Taiwan seriously," Cotton said. "That's why I urge both the president and Congress to accelerate the sale of defensive weapons to Taiwan, as well as to bring Taiwan into joint military exercises with the United States. We can't afford to take Beijing’s saber-rattling lightly."
Taiwan's status as a self-ruled island is disputed by China, which feels it can still use force to keep it under control, Reuters reported:
China considers Taiwan to be a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is its main source of arms.
Beijing regularly calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue between it and the United States. In September, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year, which authorises mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the United States.