(FreedomBeacon.com)- Congressional Republicans are leading an effort to fast-track weapons shipments to Taiwan over growing concern that China may be planning to launch a “war of aggression,” according to Indiana Republican Jim Banks.
Banks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon last week that the Biden administration being caught off guard by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proof that it is impossible to “deter an invasion after it happens.”
Republicans are concerned that China has learned lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and may make good on its threats to invade Taiwan.
Last week, Beijing took steps to strengthen its bilateral ties with the Kremlin to assist Russia in combatting Western economic sanctions. As a result, Republican lawmakers want the US to send a clear message that if Beijing acts against Taiwan, the United States will come to the island’s aid.
Congressman Banks pointed to the record number of times China breached Taiwan’s airspace in 2021. He said congressional Republicans must not let President Biden make the same mistakes he made in Ukraine. Both the President and Congress must be “entirely unified” regarding the need to send defensive weapons to Taiwan to deter China’s President Xi from “starting a war of aggression,” Banks said.
Republican lawmakers have presented the “Taiwan Weapons Export Act” which Banks said would serve as a legislative vehicle for deterring Chinese aggression by boosting Taiwan’s trade standing and making it a central US ally like Japan and South Korea.
The legislation would also expedite licensing approval for weapons shipments while removing administrative barriers that slow the process. It would cut in half the amount of time necessary for Congress to review these weapons deals.
A companion version of the bill is being spearheaded in the Senate by Missouri Republican Josh Hawley.
In a phone call last Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping reaffirmed relations between the two countries in the face of Western sanctions. During the call, President Xi reportedly affirmed the “legitimacy” of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, claiming Russia was protecting its “fundamental national interests” from security challenges “created by external forces.”