Any unprovoked attack on Taiwan will result in a "resolute reaction" from Washington, US Congressman Rob Wittman said on Friday during a visit to Taipei.
China has repeatedly proposed peaceful means for Taipei reunification, warning that Beijing is ready to use force to reunite the island with the mainland if necessary.
"Know that any hostile unprovoked attack on Taiwan will result in a resolute reaction from the US," said Rob Wittman, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in a speech, ahead of meetings with President Tsai Ing-Wen.
The US lawmaker also promised to resolve the $19 billion backlog in Taipei’s military purchases from the US despite Beijing warning Washington against selling arms to the secessionists.
The US has sold $19 billion worth of weapons, munitions, and military equipment to Taipei, but most of that remains undelivered due to the two sides' failure to reach an agreement on the payment terms.
"We have an obligation to make sure that we fill the backlog of foreign military sales that exist now between our countries," Wittman said.
He said both Republicans and Democrats were working on the issue. "I can tell you that members of the House on both sides of the aisle are focused on making sure this $19 billion backlog in foreign military sales gets fulfilled."
US law requires Washington to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself and treat all threats to the island as matters of "grave concern," but remains ambiguous on whether it would commit forces in response to an attack from China.
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