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Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas warned that the United States has been slow in delivering military equipment to Taiwan, leaving the country vulnerable to a Chinese invasion.
“Putin has always wanted Ukraine, it’s no secret. And President Xi has always wanted Taiwan,” McCaul told Fox News Digital at the Milken Institute 2022 Global Conference. “He’s watching very carefully what is taking place in Ukraine to determine his calculation as to what the next steps should be.”
McCaul said he signed off on weapons systems to be delivered to Taiwan two to three years ago, but they have “yet to land in Taiwan to protect them in the event there’s a military invasion by Chairman Xi.”
“It’s unconscionable,” McCaul said.
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McCaul said the ambassador from Taiwan has asked when the weapons are being delivered, but the Texas congressman “can’t get a straight answer.”
He speculated the weapons, which would be critical for Taiwan’s defenses, have gotten bogged down in a bureaucratic government procurement process.
McCaul said the United States should have delivered weapons to Ukraine in the fall and is now playing “catchup.”
“With Taiwan, we’ve got to get those weapons in as well to provide deterrence to Chairman Xi,” he said.
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McCaul noted that China was able to take over both Hong Kong and the Solomon Islands without a shot fired, and President Xi may attempt something similar to Ukraine. “And that’s very concerning,” he said.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not go as quickly as Putin had planned, possibly making Xi “think twice” about a similar military invasion of Taiwan, McCaul said.
“He’s probably looking at this route that would be more along the lines of deception, possibly overturning an election, trying to find ways to economically take Taiwan without a military invasion itself. We’ve got to keep our eyes on this very closely.”
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Any Chinese takeover of Taiwan would have far-reaching consequences, McCaul noted.
“Ninety percent of the advanced semiconductor chips are manufactured in Taiwan,” he said. “Imagine if President Xi got his hands on that – everything from the iPhone to automobiles to our most advanced weapons systems would be in jeopardy.”
Taiwan makes 92% of the world’s most advanced semiconductors, according to a 2021 report from Boston Consulting and the Semiconductor Industry Association.
The solution, according to McCaul: Manufacture more chips in the United States.
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“We can incentivize manufacturing in the United States through a grant program and through tax incentives,” he said.
Last year, Samsung announced plans to build a $17 billion chip factory in Texas, and Intel announced plans earlier this year to invest at least $20 billion in an Ohio chip-making factory.