Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy suggested China could invade Taiwan without major consequences once the United States achieved “semiconductor independence” in 2028 under a hypothetical Ramaswamy administration during an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Monday.
The candidate began by stressing the importance of semiconductors and promising to take aggressive action in the meantime until the U.S. was able to produce its own semiconductors, but he also explained that it would only be a delay tactic.
“They will not take the risk of making that move, especially if they know that the U.S. is only biding our time until we have semiconductor independence,” said Ramaswamy.
China will have no reason to aggress towards Taiwan between now and the end of my first term in 2028, if we show we’re serious about it. But by being strategically clear, then that commitment changes after we’ve achieved semiconductor independence. Now put yourself in Xi Jinping’s shoes. He has no interest in taking that risk. And the truth of the matter is 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. 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. And that’s consistent with my position on Ukraine as well.
Ramaswamy doubled down on his position after Hewitt pressed him on it, affirming that his commitment toward defending Taiwan would go “only as far as 2028.”
“We will not take the risk of war that risks Americans lives after that for some nationalistic dispute between China and Taiwan,” added Ramaswamy, placing an emphasis on helping the Chinese Communist Party reach its goal of forcibly annexing Taiwan by 2049. “I think they want to get this done ultimately before 2049, which is the hundred-year anniversary of the Chinese civil war when Chiang Kai-shek left. Well, I think that his rush to do it before 2028 is going to change when I’m the U.S. president, because I have now moved from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity.”
“What’s clear to me is that you are saying ‘I will go to war, including attacking the Chinese mainland, if you attack before semiconductor independence. And afterwards, you can have Taiwan. So if you just wait until 2029, you may have Taiwan.’ Is that clear? I mean, that’s what you’re saying. ‘I’ll go to war until 2028…’ inquired Hewitt.
“I’m choosing my words very carefully right now,” insisted Ramaswamy. “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. 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.”
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