Tensions between the United States and China remain high after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) visit to Taiwan this past week. In retaliation, China has placed sanctions on the island and has conducted live-fire drills near its coasts. In an op-ed for National Review, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) outlines his strategy for the region.
Scott cites the February invasion of Ukraine by Russia as an example of what an invasion of Taiwan will look like. More importantly, it serves as an example of what not to do. While the U.S. and NATO have responded harshly to Russia and offered support to Ukraine, Scott writes that "it has shown that “integrated deterrence” only works when taken up early, comprehensively, and with a steely eye toward meaningful leverage."
Because of this, the U.S. must demonstrate its unequivocal support for Taiwan with action to back up its words. In February, Scott introduced the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which outlines means of countering Chinese aggression. These include limited authorization of the President to respond with military force to an invasion and thus plan for coordinated military action.
Furthermore, Scott's op-ed demands an end to Strategic Ambiguity regarding Taiwan and introducing a bilateral trade agreement with the island. Taiwan's lack of inclusion on the U.S.-backed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) receives criticism from Scott, fearing the Biden Administration's support for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative for the 21st Century "mere lip service." Scott concludes the op-ed arguing that trade agreements must be married to military strategy for Taiwan, for otherwise it "threatens the national security of the United States as well as the future of democracy in Taiwan."
Scott then made the following tweet early Monday afternoon:
As Communist China’s aggression grows, it is essential to U.S. interests to bolster both military & economic relations with #Taiwan. My trip to the island last month only further reinforced that fact.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 5, 2022
"As Communist China’s aggression grows, it is essential to U.S. interests to bolster both military & economic relations with #Taiwan. My trip to the island last month only further reinforced that fact. Read more in my new op-ed for @NRO," says Scott.
This column comes four days after Scott, Sen. Michelle Steel (R-CA) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a lend-lease program with Taiwan to the Senate floor.