US congressmen slam Xi’s ‘threats’

‘END OPPRESSION’::Mario Diaz-Balart said that Beijing’s attempts to threaten a democratic US ally were ‘shameful’ and that dictatorships often rely on coercion

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jan 06, 2019 - Page 1

Several US congressmen on Friday said that Beijing should be reprimanded for threatening Taipei with military power following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) reiteration this week of his goal of unification and willingness to use force to annex Taiwan.

“China threatening Taiwan with military force is reprehensible, counterproductive and just bad diplomacy,” US Senator John Kennedy tweeted.

China’s provocative approach toward Taiwan risks the stability of the region and displays its disrespect of democracies, Kennedy said.

US Representative Mario Diaz-Balart on Twitter called China’s attempts to threaten a democratic US ally “shameful,” saying that communist dictatorships often rely on coercion, threats and violence to maintain power.

“The Chinese people in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] have suffered under crushing oppression for far too long, and the threats against the free people of #Taiwan must end,” said Diaz-Balart, who serves as cochair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.

US Representative Steve King said on Facebook that China’s saber-rattling and threats against Taiwan, a democratic ally and an important trading partner, should be condemned by freedom-loving people around the globe.

Taiwan and China are sovereign nations with a right to self-determination, US Representative Paul Gosar said, adding that force should not be an option.

The congressmen were commenting on Xi’s speech in Beijing on Wednesday marking the 40th anniversary of a policy statement that paved the way for cross-strait interactions.

The Chinese leader said that while peaceful unification is his government’s goal, it “makes no promise to abandon the use of force” against the intervention of foreign forces and pro-independence “separatists.”

Xi also said he planned to explore a Taiwan version of the “one country, two systems” model, which President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in a speech responding to Xi’s remarks later that day said would not be accepted by Taiwanese.

Calling for US support for Taiwan, US Representative Don Bacon on Wednesday tweeted that Taiwan has embraced democracy and human rights for all its citizens.

“America needs to stand by our longstanding commitment to Taiwan and ensure they’re not isolated while China still embraces Communism, and denies freedom of religion, speech, and the press,” Bacon said.

US Representative Vicente Gonzalez also urged the US to stand with Taiwan, which he called a key democratic ally and friend.

Gonzalez and US Representative Andy Biggs expressed the hope that both sides of the Taiwan Strait could return to having peaceful and constructive dialogue and relations.

US Representative Glenn Grothman said China should respect the commitment of the 23 million Taiwanese to freedom and democracy, while US Representative Ted Yoho pledged the US Congress’ “unwavering support” for Taiwan.

“Xi Jinping’s threatening rhetoric on #Taiwan is an escalation of Communist Party campaign to marginalize Taiwan’s democracy,” Yoho said, adding that Taiwan’s legitimacy is a self-evident fact.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked the nine US senators and representatives for their staunch, bipartisan support of the nation.