The decade's most triggering comedy
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy suggested Monday that he would not commit to defending Taiwan — one of America’s top allies in Asia — against an attack from communist China if America were to no longer be reliant on Taiwan for semiconductors.
Ramaswamy told radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview Monday that China “should not mess with Taiwan until we have achieved semiconductor independence,” which he claimed he could achieve in less than four years. After that though, he said, his commitment to intervention would “change.”
“I’m being very clear: Xi Jinping should not mess with Taiwan until we have achieved semiconductor independence, until the end of my first term when I will lead us there,” Ramaswamy said Monday, as reported by the Washington Examiner. “And after that, our commitments to Taiwan, our commitments to be willing to go to military conflict, will change after that, because that’s rationally in our self-interest.”
Hewitt pointed out that Ramaswamy “drew a red line around Taiwan, a big, bright red line” and asked if that means there would be “war” if China invaded Taiwan before 2028 or the U.S. achieved semiconductor independence.
“I’m not committing to that,” Ramaswamy replied. He would commit, though, to continue to “deter” an invasion until the U.S. has semiconductor independence through various means, he said.
The presidential candidate’s comments about Taiwan prompted a response from Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, who noted that the island nation’s “security will remain tied to US security regardless of semiconductors *as long as the US is determined to remain the world’s preeminent power.* This isn’t a game.”
Heinrichs, an expert on foreign policy, said that the idea of letting China invade Taiwan was “dangerous.”
“We are talking about risking slaughter of human beings, squashing a democracy, pushing the US out of the region and handing it to the Marxist, expansionist, violent CCP,” she wrote.
Ramaswamy previously suggested that the U.S. should stop China from invading Taiwan by giving guns to Taiwanese citizens.
“Here’s how we protect Taiwan without going to war with China: open a branch of the NRA in Taiwan, put an AR-15 in the hands of every family, and train them how to use it,” he said at an event. “That’ll give Xi Jinping a taste of American exceptionalism.”
The U.S. currently approaches the question of Taiwan’s sovereignty and the potential U.S. response to Chinese aggression with “strategic ambiguity.”
This article has been revised for clarity and emphasis.