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Wittman Leads CODEL to Indo-Pacific
Washington, September 5, 2023
Tags: National Defense
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman Rob Wittman (VA-01) was joined by Congressman Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02), and Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) on a bipartisan CODEL trip to the Indo-Pacific, where the Members met with senior officials to discuss security issues and deterrence measures to counter increasing aggression from the Chinese Communist Party in the region.
Upon their return from the Indo-Pacific, the members released the following statement:
“Intimidation, lies, and military might are the cornerstones of the Chinese Communist Party and their efforts to coerce their neighbors across the Indo-Pacific. China’s military aggression in Japan’s Senkaku islands and Taiwan’s air defense zone, water gunning Philippine resupply vessels, and Fukushima disinformation campaigns are routine operations for Beijing.
As China’s increasing aggression continues to be a growing national security threat, the United States is committed to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific for the future of global trade and commerce that improves the world economy. The United States must be prepared to respond to the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression and provocation with strength and transparency.”
While in Tokyo and Okinawa, the CODEL met with Japanese partners to discuss the nation’s increasing defense investments.
In Manila, Reps. Wittman, Gimenez, and Kiggans met with Philippine partners to advocate for strengthening existing economic and military ties between the two countries.
While in Taiwan, Reps. Wittman, Kiggans, and Gimenez met with President Katherine Tsai, Secretary-General Koo, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu to reaffirm U.S. support for Taiwan and assure any hostile action against Taiwan would evoke a resolute response from the United States. They emphasized the importance of the United States’ commitment to fulfilling the nearly $14.3 billion backlog in arms sales to Taiwan.
“President Tsai – know that any hostile, unprovoked attack on Taiwan will result in a resolute reaction from the United States,” said Rep. Wittman in his opening remarks before the CODEL’s meeting with President Tsai. “We know too of the incredible effort that Taiwan is putting forward in its own self-defense – the extension now of service in the military. And we have an obligation to make sure that we fill the backlog of foreign military sales that exist now between our countries. I can tell you that members of the House, on both sides of the aisle, are focused on making sure this backlog in foreign military sales gets fulfilled.”