U.S. lawmaker warns China of consequences of attacking Taiwan

U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho.

WASHINGTON (CNA) — U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho warned on Tuesday that China will face consequences if it resorts to the use of force to invade Taiwan, and he will soon introduce a bill aimed at deterring such an attack.

On his twitter page, Yoho, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Florida, said he will introduce the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act on Wednesday to respond to the use of force by China.

“We’re gonna stand with any country that is a democracy, that stands up for liberty and freedom and human rights,” Yoho said at a ceremony where Taiwan donated 250,000 surgical masks to the American Legion, a U.S. veterans association.

“If China chooses to cross that line, there will be consequences. This is not our choice. This is China’s choice. They cannot do what they did to Hong Kong to Taiwan,” Yoho said, referring to his bill that authorizes the U.S. president to use force against a Chinese invasion.

The congressman, a member of the U.S. House’s Subcommittee on Asian Affairs and a longtime supporter of Taiwan, said the bill will require China to enter into “peaceful negotiations” with Taiwan.

If, however, China chooses to invade Taiwan, the act will authorize the use of force by the U.S. military to “protect Taiwan defensively.”

“We don’t want to do that. It is not our choice,” Yoho said. “Again, this is Xi Jinping, and the Chinese Communist Party. It’s not the Chinese people. It’s the Communist Party, and an authoritarian government. And we will stand firm with that,” Yoho said.

Yoho said Taiwan, with a population of 23 million, is a sovereign country and should be treated as one.

“They’re one of our largest trading partners, they punch above their weight. It’s a nation that wants freedom and liberty for their people,” Yoho said.

“I think that should be respected around the world, and it shouldn’t be just America standing up saying this. It should be the rest of the free world that honors and respects the sovereignty of people and lets the people of Taiwan decide.”

Yoho said he will continue to push for mutual visits of ranking government officials of Taiwan and the U.S. and a free trade agreement between the two.

According to U.S. media, Yoho’s bill will authorize the U.S. president to use force if China directly uses force against Taiwan, if China exhibits an intention to seize control of Taiwan proper, Penghu, Kinmen, and other territory controlled by Taiwan, or if China threatens the lives of Taiwan’s people and its military.