Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy clashed with Fox News anchor John Roberts over Taiwan policy, saying he would not give the country “over to China.”
Ramaswamy said during an Aug. 14 interview with Hugh Hewitt that American interests involving Taiwan would change once the United States achieved independence in producing semiconductors. The 2024 presidential candidate called for the United States to “declare independence” from China in February.
“You’ve said that you’d fully back Taiwan until the U.S. becomes independent with semiconductors,” “America Reports” host John Roberts said to Ramaswamy. “So what happens after that point? Do we just give Taiwan to China?”
“So, John, that’s how my position again has been caricatured,” Ramaswamy said. “Let’s get real here.”
Roberts pressed Ramaswamy on the issue, interrupting the former biotechnology executive and co-founder of Strive Asset Management.
“I did not say we would hand them over to China,” Ramaswamy said.
“Right now the status quo is the U.S. embraces the One China policy. Both Republicans and Democrats, every other Republican in this race embraces the One China policy, strategic ambiguity, refusing to call Taiwan a nation,” Ramaswamy added later. “Recall that President Trump was derided by both parties for picking up a phone call from the Taiwanese president. That’s our current status quo with respect to China.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called then-President elect Trump in December 2016, and the two conversed about American relations with Taiwan.
“I think that’s insufficient. I think we have to be crystal clear that we will defend Taiwan,” Ramaswamy said. “So, I’m upgrading to strategic clarity, saying that absolutely we will defend Taiwan until we get semiconductor independence, because that’s why Taiwan matters most to the U.S. They provide the chips that power our modern way of life. And after that, we resume the current status quo, which is strategic ambiguity.”
Taiwan produces 63% of the semiconductors, Trendforce reported in 2021. One Taiwanese firm, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, accounts for 54% of the world’s semiconductors.
“The fact of the matter is the current U.S. establishment in both parties, including the Republican Party, does not even recognize Taiwan as a nation right now,” Ramaswamy added later. “One China is our policy. So, John, that’s actually a caricature, it’s laughable to say that when I’m saying Taiwan is a nation, that we actually will defend it until and unless we have semiconductor independence, and then we resume the status quo. That’s honest, that’s clear, and that is actually a more strong Taiwan posture than either party has offered.”
“He is the only candidate to commit to militarily defend Taiwan (strategic clarity),” a spokesperson for Ramaswamy told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “In 2028 when we achieve semiconductor independence we will return to our current posture of strategic ambiguity.”
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