US House Speaker McCarthy demands faster arms sales to Taiwan

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen Wednesday in California, in the latest move in a bipartisan effort by the White House and Congress to end the “one-China” policy, initiate formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and escalate the US confrontation with China.

McCarthy’s meeting was the highest-profile meeting with a Taiwanese president on US soil since the beginning of the US adoption of the one-China policy in the early 1970s. Unlike previous “transits” by Taiwanese leaders through the United States, the summit included a public press conference, making a mockery of the White House’s claim that Tsai’s trip was not an “official” visit.

Speaking to the press following the meeting, McCarthy encouraged the United States to flood weapons into Taiwan. “We must continue the arm sales to Taiwan and make sure such sales reach Taiwan on a very timely basis,” he said.

Seemingly basing himself on one of the slogans in George Orwell’s 1984, “War is Peace,” McCarthy claimed that, by funneling weapons into an island just 100 miles off the coast of China, the US would make a war less likely.

“We know through history, the best way” to prevent war is to “supply the weapons that allow people to deter war,” he declared.

McCarthy said, “If I just sit back and I look at what transpired in Ukraine, I remember coming back from Ukraine in 2015, and advocating to sell them Javelins, Javelins, a defensive weapon to stop the tanks from coming in. And maybe had that action been taken or others, Russia would not have felt that that was a mode for them to go through and thousands of lives would have been saved.

“And I think … if people would have taken that action in Ukraine, the world would be safer. And I think that’s an action that we should take” in regard to Taiwan.

In reality, it was the United States arming of Ukraine and its efforts to integrate a country on Russia’s border into the NATO alliance system that provoked the war, and that Taiwan is presented with the same horrific fate if the plans of the White House and congressional Republicans are put into place.

McCarthy praised the Biden administration, declaring that it “sees the importance of speeding up the weapon delivery system,” and chided a reporter for asking whether there were differences of opinion between Democrats and Republicans on arming Taiwan.

“I believe that is a bipartisan position … from my conversations with the administration. That’s the same feeling I’ve had back from them [the Democrats] as well… We’re going to speak with one voice when it comes to China,” he added.

Raja Krishnamoorthi, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), struck the same tone of total unanimity on the White House’s belligerent anti-China policy. “As the speaker mentioned, it’s important for us to set aside partisanship and work together to promote our common interests and the interests of the free world.”

If there was any difference in the approach of the Democrats and Republicans, the Democrats were more vocal, insisting that the missiles being trafficked into Taiwan be painted with metaphorical peace signs. “We want peace, we are a peace-loving people,” said Krishnamoorthi, referring to the United States, the perpetrator of Hiroshima, My Lai, and Abu Ghraib.

He continued, “To the CCP, we say to them with one voice, we do not want war. We don’t want a Cold War. We don’t want a hot war. We don’t want any hostilities whatsoever.”

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators from the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed that they had met Tsai on Friday, March 31 in New York City. Their comments about the meeting, if anything, were more belligerent than those of McCarthy.

“The dictators of Beijing should not determine which foreign leaders members of Congress can or cannot meet with, especially on American soil,” said Republican Senator Dan Sullivan. “The US Senate … doesn’t do the Chinese Communist Party’s bidding. While the CCP wants the world to believe that Taiwan is isolated, nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We know Communist China, our pacing threat, is looking toward their neighbor and key US partner, Taiwan,” he said, adding, “America’s partnership with Taiwan must be strengthened … through enhanced military training and swift weapons transfers.”

In response to the meeting, a Chinese aircraft carrier traveled southeast of Taiwan for its first mission in the Western Pacific.

McCarthy’s meeting with Tsai is only the latest in a series of moves aimed at ripping up the one-China Policy, by means of which China and the US managed to avoid war for over half a century.

In April 2021, the State Department announced “New Guidelines for U.S. Government Interactions with Taiwan Counterparts” that would “encourage U.S. government engagement with Taiwan.”

The Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, passed as a part of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, allows the direct provision of weapons to Taiwan by the US government for the first time.

On February 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States plans to quadruple the number of US troops stationed on Taiwan, from 30 to between 100 and 200. The Journal noted, “Beyond training on Taiwan, the Michigan National Guard is also training a contingent of the Taiwanese military, including during annual exercises with multiple countries at Camp Grayling in northern Michigan, according to people familiar with the training.”

On March 24, the US House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Assurance Implementation Act, which formally tasks the State Department to “identify opportunities to lift any remaining self-imposed limitations on US-Taiwan engagement and articulate a plan to do so,” setting into motion the potential formal ending of the one-China policy.