May 3, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) criticized the Biden State Department for not walking the walk on supporting Taiwan in the face of increased Chinese Communist Party aggression.
“President Xi in his most recent Party Congress again reiterated his desire to unify with Taiwan by force if necessary…” Ricketts said in the hearing. “Obviously, it’s important for us to be able to provide to the government of Taiwan the arms they need to protect themselves.”
“President Biden has been strong in talking about defending Taiwan – sometimes so much so that staff has walked back some of his comments,” Ricketts said later in the hearing. “My question gets to the budget proposal. I’m looking through this. I don’t see as I’m walking through this budget very many mentions of Taiwan. In fact, just one in the entire budget where Taiwan is even mentioned as a priority. You’ve got a new global FMF (Foreign Military Financing) line, which provides only a $16 million baseline for the Indo-Pacific. And that’s not just for Taiwan, that’s the entire Indo-Pacific. So talk to me about what this budget means for helping to make sure Taiwan can defend itself should the CCP want to take over Taiwan by force. $16 million does not sound like very much money.”
Ricketts comments came during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy on the State Departments’ FY2024 Budget request for East Asia and the Pacific. Ricketts has repeatedly criticized the CCP for not respecting the sovereignty of nations, including most recently after a CCP ambassador to France questioned the legal existence of post-Soviet states.
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