EXCLUSIVE: PONTE VEDRA, Fla.— The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and leader of the GOP China Accountability task force warned Fox News of an "unholy alliance" between Russia and China, saying the coordination between the two nations "will pose a lot of problems" for the United States and the West.
During an interview with Fox News on the sidelines of the House Republican Issues Conference Wednesday, McCaul, R-Texas, warned of a "strong alliance" between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"If you go back to the Beijing Olympics, then you saw the creation of this unholy alliance between Chairman Xi and Mr. Putin," McCaul said. "They defended each other’s actions — that being Russia defending President Xi if he invaded Taiwan, President Xi saying that NATO is being too aggressive and that they were going to work hand-in-hand together."
McCaul warned that "this is the beginning of a serious alliance that will pose a lot of problems, and then you throw Iran in the mix and North Korea."
The Biden administration has voiced "deep concerns" about Russia’s "alignment" with China. Intelligence officials said that the Kremlin had turned to Beijing for economic and military aid after its invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24.
President Biden had a secure video call with Chinese President Xi last week for nearly two hours in which he warned of the "consequences" should China "provide material support" to Russia amid its multifront war on Ukraine.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who met with his Chinese counterpart in Rome last week ahead of Biden and Xi’s meeting, said that the administration "has not seen" the "provision of military equipment by China to Russia" in the days since Biden’s meeting.
"But of course, this is something we are monitoring closely," Sullivan said Tuesday. "We will continue to monitor it."
As for whether China wants to aid Russia in its war on Ukraine, McCaul said he believes Beijing is "trying to find the way."
"Deception is always a model in China," McCaul said. "They are trying to find a way to help their ally next door without being too over the top and get the retribution."
McCaul said that the "difference" between China and Russia is the United States is "so dependent on (China's) supply chain."
"Whether it be semiconductors, medical, rare earth minerals — our economies are too intertwined, that going after China with similar sanctions we are with Russia will be far more difficult to achieve," McCaul told Fox News.
He also warned that China has its own "digital currency" that he said "could lead to cryptocurrency where they could evade sanctions."
After Biden’s call with Xi on Friday, senior administration officials maintained that U.S. policy toward Taiwan "has not changed" and emphasized that the United States continues to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo."
McCaul told Fox News that Xi has "always wanted Taiwan" and Putin "has always wanted Ukraine."
"I hope that Chairman Xi looks at the difficulties that Russia is having — maybe it is not such a great idea," McCaul said. "However, I worry because China’s capabilities far outweigh Taiwan’s, that we need to learn from the lessons and mistakes we made in Ukraine and start heavily arming Taiwan."
McCaul suggested the United States provide Taiwan with "asymmetric weapons and anti-aircraft to stop any potential invasion."
"Because, I guarantee, Chairman Xi is looking at this right now, in terms of making his calculation as to whether his next move will be to invade Taiwan," McCaul said. "I know that Xi is looking at what is happening in Ukraine and learning how best he is going to do this."