Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., wrote a letter to President Joe Biden this week urging him to “act decisively to regain our footing abroad” following the withdrawal from Afghanistan by focusing on taking a strong stance toward China.
“The strongest world power for nearly a century is seen as weak and reluctant, embattled with internal strife,” Daines wrote in the letter Monday, according to the Washington Times. “As we pivot from Afghanistan, the U.S. must not validate those perceptions with partisan infighting, and we must instead act decisively to regain our footing abroad.”
The senator added, “Hasty planning and empty promises left hundreds of U.S. citizens stranded and thousands of vulnerable Afghans abandoned. Our closest allies feel vulnerable, and some are re-evaluating their ties with the U.S.”
He went on to suggest the U.S. focus on countering China, first by providing emergency aid to nearby countries like the Philippines and Taiwan, which have been hit by “devastating winds and torrential rainfall” caused by a super-typhoon.
“Scenes of catastrophic flooding, landslides, and human suffering are likely hours away, ripe for Chinese propaganda to chip away at the confidence of [Taiwan’s] 23 million citizens,” Daines said. “U.S. ships should be first on the scene to provide assistance as necessary to those in need.”
He added, the U.S. should also ensure “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea, after China began demanding vessels from other countries, following its new maritime law that places all ships in the Sea under the purview of Beijing.