Tuesday 25 April 2023

DeSantis Discusses What U.S. Policy Needs To Be To Deter A Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan

 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in an interview this week with Asian media that the U.S. needs to show a much stronger presence in helping “to shape the environment in such a way” that deters China from trying to invade Taiwan and expanding their influence around the world.

The 44-year-old governor made the remarks during a conversation with Nikkei Asia while in Japan on an international trade mission.

DeSantis said that “at this juncture in the 21st century, what the Soviet Union was to [the U.S. last century], that’s really what China represents, with the CCP in terms of the threat to the free world.”

“And I think in many respects, the CCP is stronger than what the Soviet Union was,” he said. “Certainly economically, they’re way stronger than what the Soviet Union ever was. And so when you look at that, our national security strategy has really got to view the Indo-Pacific like we did Europe after World War II. And to be able to do that effectively obviously requires us to make sure that we have strong defense and that we can project power. But it really does require a very close relationship with U.S. and Japan.”

The governor said that the Quad — officially called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is comprised of the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia — was critical to confronting and preventing Chinese aggression.

DeSantis said that “without question” China represented the biggest threat to the U.S. and that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping was “very ideological” and that he has “a very clear idea of what he wants to do by entrenching the party in power, entrenching himself in power, and then he’s built up military capability.”

He said that Xi wants to project that military power beyond China’s borders “in a much bigger way” than past Chinese leaders and that “what makes them a significant threat is they’ve been able to make themselves, partially because U.S. policy facilitated this, the biggest industrial power in the world.”

“So the things that we do in the United States, like our nuclear arsenal depends on parts and things made in China,” he said. “And so we’ve put ourselves in, not just the U.S. but other democracies, have put ourselves in a vulnerable position vis-a-vis China. You know, Xi clearly wants to take Taiwan at some point, he’s got a certain time horizon, he could be emboldened to maybe shorten that horizon.”

DeSantis said that the one thing that China respects in strength and that if the U.S. and Japan are doing what they need to do to deter Chinese threats that China will look at the prospect of invading Taiwan and understand that “it’s a huge risk to attempt something like that.”

“There’s a huge amount of ways that that can go wrong for President Xi,” he said. “So I think our policy should really be, you know, to shape the environment in such a way that really deters them from doing that. I think if they think the costs are gonna outweigh whatever benefits, then I do think that they would hold off. And that should be our goal.”

DeSantis also praised Japan’s recent increase in defense spending from 1% to 2% of their GDP, noting that it represented a serious commitment to help keep China in check.

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