Hawkish Senator Calls Taiwan A “Country” In 4th US Delegation Visit This Month Alone : by Tyler Durden

Hawkish Senator Calls Taiwan A “Country” In 4th US Delegation Visit This Month Alone

Following the Nancy Pelosi visit which sparked unprecedent sea and aerial Chinese military live fire exercises, Taiwan on Thursday unveiled a huge defense budget increase of just shy of 14%.  Specifically at a 13.9% increase, Taiwan’s cabinet has already approved the spending boost and it will next be debated in parliament, and if approve would bring the island’s total military budge to about $19.41 billion for 2023. 

The flow of weapons from Washington, which Beijing has vehemently condemned as a severe violation of the ‘One China’ principle, is thus expected to only increase, with provisions being made in the budget for more fighter jet funding and other major hardware. 

Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters

Taiwan cabinet’s chief budget official Chu Tzer-ming indicated in statements that the bulk of next year’s defense spending will be toward the additional military readiness required to fend off a potential Chinese invasion, given the greatly bolstered PLA presence around the island: 

“The budget for maintaining operations saw the biggest increase among the defense-spending categories this year in response to the cross-strait situation,” Chu said. “Warplanes need to take off and warships need to go to sea, which all lead to higher expenses.”

The White House has accused Beijing of using the early August Pelosi visit to manufacture a crisis. Chinese state media had at the same time expressly stated the PLA drills were a “rehearsal” for forced reunification. 

Meanwhile, the US clearly isn’t backing down, or so much as allowing tensions to cool for a while, given this week marked no less than the fourth Congressional delegation to Taiwan in August alone

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) arrived Thursday in Taipei on a US Air Force plane in an unannounced visit. She’s a well-known hawk when it comes to all things China, for example having posted on Twitter in 2020 that “China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change.” She more recently backed a proposed bill that would let the Biden administration lend weapons to Taiwan, akin to what’s already been authorized for Ukraine.

I will continue to stand with the Taiwans and their right to freedom and democracy.

Xi Jinping doesn’t scare me.

— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 25, 2022

Another well-known moment involved here labeling China as part of a “New Axis of Evil”

“It’s time we focus on rewarding Taiwan’s commitment to democratic values and ensure they have the necessary resources to combat Communist China and the New Axis of Evil.”

Thus her visit is sure to set off outrage in Beijing, especially given that among Blackburn’s first words upon arrival featured calling for Taiwan pushing forward to become “an independent nation”. The Republican Senator said she “looked forward to continuing to support Taiwan as they push forward as an independent nation.”

She also repeated the Axis of Evil line regarding China

Blackburn arrived in Taipei late Thursday after visiting Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as part of a U.S. push to “expand our diplomatic footprint in the area,” her office said in a statement.

“The Indo-Pacific region is the next frontier for the new axis of evil,” Blackburn, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was quoted as saying. “We must stand against the Chinese Communist Party.”

And on Friday, while meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Blackburn referred to Taiwan as a “country”, per Axios

Blackburn’s comment that she remembers her 2008 visit to Taiwan fondly “and the opportunity to get to see some of your country firsthand” is likely to further anger Beijing, which has warned of consequences for the U.S. if American officials continue to visit the island it sees as a breakaway province.

The CCP will stop at nothing to achieve global domination and destroy Taiwan’s independence.

That’s why I’m in Taipei to discuss ways to strengthen our relationships with @iingwen. pic.twitter.com/mnpmdIrEZa

— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 26, 2022

Most likely, this is about to trigger a whole new round of major Chinese PLA drills threatening the island. Certainly Blackburn’s confrontation words just blew past Beijing’s “red lines” concerning the Taiwan crisis.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 08/26/2022 – 18:30

​ Hawkish Senator Calls Taiwan A “Country” In 4th US Delegation Visit This Month Alone

Following the Nancy Pelosi visit which sparked unprecedent sea and aerial Chinese military live fire exercises, Taiwan on Thursday unveiled a huge defense budget increase of just shy of 14%.  Specifically at a 13.9% increase, Taiwan’s cabinet has already approved the spending boost and it will next be debated in parliament, and if approve would bring the island’s total military budge to about $19.41 billion for 2023. 

The flow of weapons from Washington, which Beijing has vehemently condemned as a severe violation of the ‘One China’ principle, is thus expected to only increase, with provisions being made in the budget for more fighter jet funding and other major hardware. 
Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters

Taiwan cabinet’s chief budget official Chu Tzer-ming indicated in statements that the bulk of next year’s defense spending will be toward the additional military readiness required to fend off a potential Chinese invasion, given the greatly bolstered PLA presence around the island: 

“The budget for maintaining operations saw the biggest increase among the defense-spending categories this year in response to the cross-strait situation,” Chu said. “Warplanes need to take off and warships need to go to sea, which all lead to higher expenses.”

The White House has accused Beijing of using the early August Pelosi visit to manufacture a crisis. Chinese state media had at the same time expressly stated the PLA drills were a “rehearsal” for forced reunification. 

Meanwhile, the US clearly isn’t backing down, or so much as allowing tensions to cool for a while, given this week marked no less than the fourth Congressional delegation to Taiwan in August alone. 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) arrived Thursday in Taipei on a US Air Force plane in an unannounced visit. She’s a well-known hawk when it comes to all things China, for example having posted on Twitter in 2020 that “China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change.” She more recently backed a proposed bill that would let the Biden administration lend weapons to Taiwan, akin to what’s already been authorized for Ukraine.

I will continue to stand with the Taiwans and their right to freedom and democracy.
Xi Jinping doesn’t scare me.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 25, 2022
Another well-known moment involved here labeling China as part of a “New Axis of Evil”…

“It’s time we focus on rewarding Taiwan’s commitment to democratic values and ensure they have the necessary resources to combat Communist China and the New Axis of Evil.”

Thus her visit is sure to set off outrage in Beijing, especially given that among Blackburn’s first words upon arrival featured calling for Taiwan pushing forward to become “an independent nation”. The Republican Senator said she “looked forward to continuing to support Taiwan as they push forward as an independent nation.”

She also repeated the Axis of Evil line regarding China…

Blackburn arrived in Taipei late Thursday after visiting Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as part of a U.S. push to “expand our diplomatic footprint in the area,” her office said in a statement.

“The Indo-Pacific region is the next frontier for the new axis of evil,” Blackburn, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was quoted as saying. “We must stand against the Chinese Communist Party.”

And on Friday, while meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Blackburn referred to Taiwan as a “country”, per Axios: 

Blackburn’s comment that she remembers her 2008 visit to Taiwan fondly “and the opportunity to get to see some of your country firsthand” is likely to further anger Beijing, which has warned of consequences for the U.S. if American officials continue to visit the island it sees as a breakaway province.

The CCP will stop at nothing to achieve global domination and destroy Taiwan’s independence.
That’s why I’m in Taipei to discuss ways to strengthen our relationships with @iingwen. pic.twitter.com/mnpmdIrEZa
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 26, 2022
Most likely, this is about to trigger a whole new round of major Chinese PLA drills threatening the island. Certainly Blackburn’s confrontation words just blew past Beijing’s “red lines” concerning the Taiwan crisis.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 08/26/2022 – 18:30 

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