Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said Monday that American commitments to Taiwan “will change” when the country gains “independence” from foreign-made semiconductors.
“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 told talk show host Hugh Hewitt in a Monday interview. “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,” he added.
Ramaswamy called for the United States to “declare independence” from China in February. Imports of goods and services from China by the United States reached $450.4 billion in 2020, according to the United States Trade Representative, with electrical machinery composing $111 billion of the imports while $97 billion came from machinery, leading to a $310.3 billion trade deficit.
“There are two reasons why China wants to annex Taiwan. One is to squat on the semiconductor supply chain so they can exert leverage over the United States of America. That’s not happening on my watch. I’d take a firm position on that,” Ramaswamy told Hewitt. “But the second reason why is that they have unfinished nationalistic business dating back to their civil war in 1949. And if that’s the sole basis for Xi Jinping going after Taiwan after we have semiconductor independence, then you know what? I am not going to send our sons and daughters to die over that conflict.”
Ramaswamy also cited the growing alliance between Russia and China as another reason to avoid a war with China.
“I’m a realist,” Ramaswamy told Hewitt. “I mean, I think right now, if we take the risk of entering serious major conflict in a circumstance where Russia and China are still in a military alliance with one another and we have not gotten India fully committed, non-aligned, where India prefers to be, historically, then I think we’re in serious danger of not only losing that conflict, Hugh. I think there are serious threats to the continued existence of the United States of America as we know it.”
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