US ready for war with China – congressman

US Congress would approve troop deployment to Taiwan should China attack the island, Representative Michael McCaul said

US Congress would authorize a direct military confrontation with China if Beijing launched an attack against Taiwan, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Fox News on Friday evening. The Texas Republican representative was talking from Taipei during a three-day bipartisan delegation visit to the self-governing island.

American lawmakers would consent to putting boots on the ground if people in the US support the measure, McCaul said, without elaborating on how exactly such support would be measured. “If communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people,” he said, adding that “if the American people support this, the Congress will follow.”

US ready for war with China – congressman

However, McCaul insisted that a “conflict is always a last resort” and described the US delegation’s visit as a way to “provide deterrence to China.” US-Chinese relations have previously been strained by the visits of American delegations to Taiwan, which China considers an inalienable part of its sovereign territory.

The representative also maintained that discussions about a potential use of force by America in the Indo-Pacific region serve as a “deterrent for peace” since “you don’t have NATO in the Pacific.” Doing otherwise would mean inviting “aggression and war,” McCaul claimed.

Beijing has repeatedly opposed Taiwan’s contacts with the US. The Chinese Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday that the Taiwan issue is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.” Washington formally adheres to the One China policy, by which Taiwan is considered an integral part of China. At the same time, the US enjoys close informal relations with the self-governing island and supplies it with weapons.

Washington has ramped up military support for Taiwan in recent months. In the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the US was planning to increase its troop presence on the island from 30 to between 100 and 200 soldiers as it seeks to help Taiwan make the island “harder to assault.” In early March, the US State Department also announced that it was approving arms sales to Taipei, including $619 million worth of munitions for F-16 fighter jets.

On Saturday, the Chinese military announced the launch of three days of exercises in the Taiwan Strait. The drills, held at the same time as McCaul’s visit to Taipei and just a day after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen returned from the US, was designed as a warning to Taiwan and “external forces,” the Chinese military said.

US threatens Iran as nuclear submarine with 154 missiles sent to Middle East

The United States has put Iran on high alert by sending a submarine capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk missiles to the Middle East. The deployment of the submarine, which appears to be a show of strength as US-Iran relations continue to flounder, was confirmed by a spokesman on Saturday.

Commander Timothy Hawkins, spokesman for the Fifth Fleet, declined to comment on the nuclear-powered submarine’s mission or what had prompted its deployment.

He said: “It is capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and is deployed to US 5th Fleet to help ensure regional maritime security and stability.”

The Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain and the submarine passed through the Suez Canal on Friday.

It patrols the Strait of Hormuz where 20 percent of all oil transits.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei. (Image: Getty)

The deployment comes after the US, UK and Israel accused Iran of targeting oil tankers and commercial ships.

Former British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab labelled an attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker as “unlawful and callous”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken added: “[There is] no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behaviour.”

The American navy also revealed it had been engaged in a series of tense encounters with Iranian forces.

Tomahawk cruise missiles can reach targets up to 1,500 miles away.

Tomahawk cruise missiles can reach targets up to 1,500 miles away. (Image: Getty)

The US launched airstrikes last month against Iran-backed troops in Syria after a ricket attack killed an American contractor and wounded seven others.

Tomahawk cruise missiles can reach targets up to 1,500 miles away when launched from ships or submarines.

The weapon was used during the opening hours of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Ex-President Donald Trump oversaw a further deterioriation in American-Iranian relations after he withdrew from a 2015 agreement which provided sanctions relief in return for Tehran reducing its nuclear activities.

Joe Biden’s White House administration attempted to restore the agreement with limited success. 

The 46th President said in December: “It is dead but we are not gonna announce it. Long story.”  – https://www.express.co.uk/

Middle East welcomes China’s role as peace builder, rejects US determinism

Saudi Arabia and Iran meeting again in Beijing shows that China is a peace builder and China’s policies are more in line with the interests of Middle Eastern countries.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi Counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud met in Beijing On Thursday. This meeting marks the first official meeting between the most senior diplomats of the two countries in over seven years.

The decision of both countries to hold talks in Beijing once again is a continuation of the agreement reached in Beijing on March 10 to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies. It is a positive signal that the two countries are moving toward a further reconciliation of a relationship that has already broken the ice.

Liu Zhongmin, a professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times that the meeting in Beijing also sends a signal that China will continue to play a pivotal role in fostering peace in the Middle East in the future. The building of trust between Saudi Arabia and Iran will not happen overnight. In this process, China, as a third party that could contribute significantly to the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries, may need to continue playing a role of a mediator and facilitator.

“Saudi Arabia and Iran are willing to trust China primarily because of China’s positive image in the international community, including in the Middle East. For example, China’s policies are more in line with the interests of Middle Eastern countries, while the US tends to promote unilateralism and hegemony, imposing its own values on the region,” said Tian Wenlin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran are aware, from their long-term engagement with the US, that Washington is unreliable. Washington is good at using conflicts and disputes in the Middle East, especially the one between Saudi Arabia and Iran, to create regional chaos and showcase its influence in the region.

Hence, the US’ stirring up troubles, creating conflicts, and causing historical harm to the diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran make it impossible for the two countries to trust the US.

In comparison, China’s foreign policies toward Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Middle East as a whole adopt a fair and objective stance and always strive to ease disputes and promote reconciliation among countries in the region.

China is willing to act as a coordinator in resolving conflicts in the Middle East. China’s balanced, fair, and objective stance, as well as its previous engagement with Saudi Arabia and Iran, have created a profound trust between China and the two countries. This is different from the way the US handles related issues.

The US’ actions and disdainful attitude have made more Middle Eastern countries see the true colors of the US. Saudi Arabia used to be a reliable security partner for the US, but in recent years, the Saudi-US relationship has become increasingly tense. According to Wall Street Journal’s report recently, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told associates late last year that he was no longer interested in pleasing the US.

In recent years, the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia has quietly undergone changes. Saudi Arabia’s autonomy is further increasing, and it is adopting an economic strategy without dependence on the US. It is also no longer politically obedient to the US. Naturally, Saudi Arabia is now increasing its investment in China and is seeking China’s mediation in the Saudi-Iran relations. OPEC+ recently announced surprise oil output cuts, which is inconsistent with what the US expects, noted Tian.

The mood of resentment toward the US in the Middle East is pervasive, not just in Saudi Arabia, as the US involvement in the region is seen as primarily driven by a desire to seize oil resources. For the US, whom to align with and whom to alienate from should be framed by the US’ defined strategic interests instead of one’s own interests, which is clear to everyone. No one wants to be the US’ pawn forever.

The US’ attempts to control the global energy landscape, especially against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, have angered many countries, as Washington constantly demands that some Middle Eastern countries sacrifice their own interests to suppress Russia.

Moreover, Washington wants to turn the region into a battlefield for great power geopolitical competition, which most Middle Eastern countries resist. Washington needs to understand that the regional affairs should be, and will be decided by relevant countries in the Middle East.

The US is still living under the illusion of American hegemony and determinism. However, as everyone knows, the world has moved on.  GT

RT /-https://www.express.co.uk/ GLOBAL TIMES