- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 14, 2019

Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Sunday that Taiwan’s latest purchase of about $2 billion of U.S. weapons “sends a very strong message to China.”

Speaking to Fox News, the Texas Republican said “we’re going to arm Taiwan so she can defend herself from what’s become a very aggressive Chinese communist party right on the doorstep.”

The State Department earlier this week approved the sale of JAG1 missiles, Abrams tanks, and grenades to Taiwan, a self-ruled Democratic state, which sparked bitter criticism from the Chinese government and threats of sanctions.

The deal comes amid an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China that has hit several U.S. tech companies and agricultural industries. Lawmakers and diplomats met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last week, in a move that angered Beijing.

“We have to support Taiwan. They stand for freedom and democracy in the region,” Mr. McCaul said. “We say, ‘don’t mess with Texas,’ don’t mess with Taiwan.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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