EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans warn that China’s “rapid expansion and militarization” of the Indo-Pacific is a “significant threat” to the United States and its allies around the world, but that the Biden administration has made clear Beijing’s “shadow”. , Unspecified agreements “area.
Republican Representative. Fox News received a letter from Republican colleagues Nancy Mays, Ken Buck, Lisa McCline and Louie Gomer, led by Lance Gooden, to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. It warned that if China was “left unsaid,” the US and its allies would not be “ready and could not answer for China’s presence in the region.”
“China’s rapid expansion and militarization in the Indo – Pacific region pose a significant threat to the United States and our allies around the world,” Gooden and his colleagues wrote.
They noted that in recent years, China has used coercion and intimidation to demand policy changes, to assert illegal maritime claims, and to intimidate the United States or our allies.
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“Beijing has reiterated its intention to maintain a high level of defense spending to transform the People’s Liberation Army into a powerful force operating in the Indo – Pacific region and beyond,” they wrote. “Needless to say, the United States and our allies are not ready and cannot respond to China’s presence in the region.”
Gooden pointed out that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visits to several Indo-Pacific countries – especially the Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands, which recently signed a security agreement with China, “allowed the PRC to” expand China’s military presence in the region. ” Military personnel and Chinese warships use their ports for ‘logical replanting’. ”
“This deal forms the relevant scenario and can launch a domino effect that will destabilize the entire region,” Gooden wrote.
Gooden and the Republicans urged Blinken to “take all necessary steps to strengthen existing and new ties in the strategic Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence.”
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Gooden referred to the US agreement with the Republic of Kiribati, which has been in force since 1979, and prohibits Kiribati from “providing facilities for military purposes to third parties except under the United States Agreement.”
“Despite this agreement, the PRC previously had military action in pursuit of a space tracking station on Kiribati’s South Tarawa Island,” they wrote. “Due to China’s growing influence in the region, there are concerns that this facility could be reopened in direct violation of our agreement with the Republic of Kiribati.”
Republican lawmakers have requested the State Department to “review existing agreements and treaties in the Indo-Pacific region and be prepared to use any powers or powers available in the region to counter China.”
They urged the State Department to “reaffirm to our regional partners that agreements with China will damage our relationship and affect our ability to provide foreign and military assistance in the region.”
“Finally, we request you to begin negotiations with the Republic of Kiribati to assist the Pacific Fleet’s logistical replantings and to create a military outpost on the island to counter China’s expansion of influence in the region,” they wrote. They also requested “strategic clarity by making it clear to our allies and to the world that the United States respects our commitments to our allies in the Indo-Pacific region and that China faces aggression and expansion.”
A Gooden aide suggested the Kiribati agreement and that the United States “could claim sovereignty over Kiribati if it recognized China’s moves to establish a base in the region.”
“China’s military expansion is in danger of destabilizing the Pacific and posing a significant threat to the United States and our allies,” Gooden told Fox News. “The Biden administration will not pursue their appeasement policy and must now take clear and decisive action to confront China before an escalation or conflict occurs.”
State Department spokeswoman Fox News said Thursday that the department “appreciates the bipartisan and bilateral support from Congress for the deep engagement in the Indo-Pacific.”
“As we said before, we need to compare action with our policies,” a spokeswoman told Fox News. “The President asked Congress to pass the US Innovation and Competition Act, which authorizes $ 3.25 billion in diplomatic and foreign aid resources for the Indo-Pacific.”
A State Department spokesman called the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific “open, connected, prosperous, resilient and secure – and we are ready to work with every country to achieve that.”
According to the State Department, over the past year, the U.S. has modernized alliances, strengthened partnerships and established “innovative links with them to address emergencies ranging from competition with the People’s Republic of China to climate change to the epidemic.”
“These achievements are the basis of the administration’s Indo – Pacific strategy,” the spokesman said, “outlining President Biden’s vision to further anchor the United States more firmly in the Indo – Pacific and strengthen the region in the process.”
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The Biden administration continues to expand engagement in the region, the spokesman said, referring to President Biden’s recent visit to Japan and Blinken’s visit to the Pacific Islands.
“As we have said, each country makes its own sovereign decisions,” the spokesman told Fox News. “We, along with allies and partners, including those in the region, have made clear our concerns about China’s shadow, unspecified agreements with less regional consultation.”
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The administration welcomes the PRC’s contribution to regional development, as long as it adheres to “the highest standards, including transparency, legislation, consistent financing and respect for the autonomy of recipients of development assistance.”
“However, as PRC involvement in the region has increased, we have seen increasingly problematic behaviors, including the argument of illegal maritime claims and the ongoing militarization of disputed properties in the South China Sea; Investments; and human rights violations, “the spokesman continued.