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Newt Gingrich says U.S. support for Taiwan hinges on maintaining status quo

The Honorable Newt Gingrich
 

Taiwan will likely end up without allies against China if it ever moves to unilaterally declare itself a sovereign nation as Beijing‘s aggressive foreign policy is casting a shadow over the entire Northeast Asia theater, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned Tuesday.

Addressing a regular forum on Korean issues sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation, the onetime Georgia lawmaker predicted that Washington will continue acting as Taiwan‘s main supplier of military hardware and will assist if invaded by the People’s Republic of China — so long as Taiwan doesn’t attempt to alter the delicate strategic balance in the region by claiming independence.

Speaking at “The Washington Brief,” Mr. Gingrich was joined Tuesday by Ambassador Christopher Hill, moderator of the discussion; Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, former U.S. envoy to the multilateral focused on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; Alexandre Mansourov, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies; and Michael Jenkins, president of The Washington Times Foundation, which hosted the virtual event.

Mr. Gingrich in his remarks underscored the delicate security situation in the region and the perils that could come if one side or the other tries to break out of the tense status quo.

“The most dangerous single place on the planet is the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese Communists have been very clear,” Mr. Gingrich said. “They will go to war at any point the Taiwanese are foolish enough to claim that they are independent.”

The forum focused on “Northeast Asia’s Alternative Futures in the Shadow of Rising China.” Assuming the conflict did not escalate to a nuclear exchange, Mr. Gingrich was pessimistic about the chances the U.S. could prevail in a war should Beijing over an attempt to invade the island with overwhelming force.

“The United States would lose and lose badly if it tried to fight China,” Mr. Gingrich said. “I think the margin of defeat is accelerating. The relative imbalance of power is increasingly pro-Chinese.”

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