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Tipsheet

Congress' Eyes Turn to Taiwan as One Year Mark of Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal Looms

AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and members of the House China Taskforce met with Taiwanese Ambassador to the United States Bi-khim Hsiao in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to reiterate the United States' commitment to Taiwan as the one year anniversary of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is around the corner.

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In addition to the downfall of Afghanistan, House members said lessons were learned from Russia's renewed offensive into Ukraine, namely that deterrence is the key to preventing a war and sending weapon systems to theater before a conflict goes kinetic.

"Congress must continue to act – not only to deter Communist China, but also to strengthen our ties with Taiwan," McCarthy said at the roundtable. "I believe we should consider solutions such as increasing arms sales to Taiwan, sending Taiwan the right weapons to deter the CCP, allowing Taiwan to participate in training exercises like RIMPAC, allowing Taiwan to display their symbols of national sovereignty in the U.S., increasing commercial and trade ties, and modernizing our own defense industrial base to maintain our unmatched military capability."

The meeting was heavy on the promises made to Taiwan. While promises were made to those who worked with the United States during the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan, people were left behind once the system collapsed and the evacuation at Hamid Karzai Airport turned chaotic. The Republicans at Wednesday's event said America's weakness was on display, much to the satisfaction of Russia and China.

"Speaking to us, especially the Republican conference, if we are fortunate to take the majority, you will be more confident that that gets delivered," McCarthy said about the U.S. defense commitments if a war breaks out between Taiwan and China.

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Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) noted the House Foreign Affairs Committee will be releasing a report about the Afghanistan withdrawal next week.

"I do think it was seen as a moment of weakness across the globe and our foreign adversaries became more empowered and emboldened by what happened. You'll see in the report, quite honestly, a lot of mistakes, American citizens left behind, Afghan partners that have been tortured and killed by the Taliban. Don't think that Putin and Xi weren't watching that moment," said McCaul.

McCaul revealed deployments of Russian troops along the Ukraine's and Belarus' who were set to leave instead stayed at the borders to prepare for the invasion as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. China's aggressiveness towards Taiwan has also increased in the aftermath of the American pullout.

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