By Sergiy Voloshin
KYIV (Reuters) – If the United States fails to support Ukraine enough in the war against Russia, it would send a signal to China that it could take Taiwan, a senior senator said at a briefing on Friday. visit to Kyiv.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican, said after meeting President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that US President Joe Biden should send more weapons to Ukraine on top of the more than $35 billion worth of arms and military hardware already provided.
A tough line on China is one of the few policies with bipartisan support in the deeply divided US Congress.
Beijing considers Taiwan as part of its territory. China’s armed forces conducted drills, fired missiles over Taiwan and cut off military contact with Washington after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island in August 2022.
“There can be no backing down to help Ukraine because if we fail here, Taiwan disappears,” Graham told reporters.
“If you’re running for president, as a Republican or a Democrat, I don’t know how you can argue that we’re stronger against China if we unplug Ukraine – it makes no sense. What I want is The Chinese see that invading a neighbor is not as easy as it seems.”
He continued, “The best way to protect Taiwan and the world order is for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to lose.”
For a long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive to succeed, its forces need more and better weaponry, such as US-made F-16 fighter jets and longer-range weapons, said Graham.
“There are weapons that matter and we have been too slow to get weapons that matter to the Ukrainian military…my message to the Biden administration is that I appreciate what you have done. More needs to be done,” said Graham.
(Reporting by Sergiy Voloshin, writing by David Ljunggren; editing by Grant McCool)