During a call with reporters on Friday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), a leader on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, predicted that Russia would invade Ukraine “next month,” and that China could begin to invade Taiwan after the February Winter Olympics, which are being held in Beijing.
“My prediction is that you’re going to see Russia invading Ukraine in the next month,” McCaul stated. “And I think after the Olympics … China’s gotten so provocative, so aggressive in the South China Sea that you will begin to see CCP, Communist Party, invade Taiwan.”
As tensions escalate regarding a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the White House has issued numerous statements. Appearing on Fox News on Thursday following an unusual remark by President Biden concerning the definition of a “minor incursion,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured the hosts that “severe economic consequences” would follow any invasion.
“If there is a movement of any military troops across the border, that is an invasion. If they go in, that is an invasion, and there will be severe economic consequences. I know [Ukrainian] President Zelensky knows that, we’ve conveyed that,” Psaki said. “It is also true … that there are a range of tactics the Russians use; we’ve been warning about some of those steps, including the spreading of misinformation out there, which has been widespread, was widespread in 2014, the use of cyber tools, and we are also going to be ready to respond to that as well, and we will be working in lock step with the Ukrainians.”
As McCaul noted, China — which has claimed for decades that Taiwan is not a sovereign nation, but a part of China that will one day be reunited with the communist nation — has been increasingly aggressive in the region for years.
Despite China’s ongoing human rights abuses and provocations regarding Taiwan, the nation will be hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which are set to begin February 4. In response to Beijing hosting the Olympics, the United States, as well as several other nations, will be engaging in a diplomatic boycott of the games.
On the same call with Rep. McCaul was Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), who on Thursday introduced the Arm Taiwan Act, which would allocate “$3 billion annually for a new Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative,” according to Gallagher’s official website.
The purpose of the initiative, as explained in the bill’s text, is in part:
To delay, degrade, and deny attempts by People’s Liberation Army forces to enter or transit the Taiwan Strait and adjoining seas. … [to] delay, degrade, and deny attempts by People’s Liberation Army forces to secure a lodgment on Taiwan and expand or otherwise use that lodgment to seize control of a population center or other key territory in Taiwan. … [to] prevent the People’s Republic of China from decapitating, seizing control of, or otherwise neutralizing or rendering ineffective the Government of Taiwan.
In a statement, Rep. Gallagher said in part: “General Secretary Xi Jinping has made unification of Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary, a key part of his legacy and the CCP is only growing more aggressive watching the Biden Administration’s weakness in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Iran.”
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