Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on Wednesday, Oct. 7, that the United States should make an “explicit and unambiguous” commitment to defend Taiwan against a possible invasion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The Washington Free Beacon reported that so far there is no clarity on how the United States would respond to an eventual attack on Taiwan by the CCP, which considers the island country as part of its territory.

Therefore, on Wednesday Cotton stated that a public defense commitment by the United States would make clear to the CCP what would happen in case it made the decision to attack.

During an event at the Hudson Institute, Cotton said, “The main source of restraint in the minds of Xi Jinping and the Central Military Commission is whether or not an invasion of Taiwan would succeed.”

The success of an invasion of Taiwan by the CCP would depend on the responsive action of U.S. forces, which, according to the Washington Free Beacon, could be reduced by a declaration of public defense.

Cotton’s announcement comes at a time of heightened tension between Taiwan and the CCP. 

Chinese state media this week threatened an eventual confrontation with Taiwan after the Democratic Progressive Party as well as Taiwan’s opposition party, the Kuomintang, signed a resolution to restore diplomatic relations with the United States.

According to The Daily Beast, the provocations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has sent fighter jets to fly over Taiwanese airspace, is the main reason why a bipartisan consensus was reached to seek greater U.S. support.

In September, the Global Times, a media outlet sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party, condemned the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Asia, as well as the efforts of Taiwan’s president to strengthen relations.

“Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, who pledged deeper ties with the U.S. at a dinner for a visiting senior State Department official, is clearly playing with fire. If any act of her provocation violates the Anti-Secession Law of China, a war will be set off and Tsai will be wiped out,” the Global Times wrote on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Pompeo visited Tokyo to meet with officials from Japan, Australia, and India in order to discuss what would be the creation of an “Asian NATO” in an effort to contain the threat of the CCP in the region, according to observers.

As the National Review noted, the four-nation meeting of diplomats actually began in the early 2000s as a result of the devastating 2004 tsunami and not for purely strategic purposes.

However, given the increased threats from the CCP in the region, the alignment of the most representative democratic countries in the region is causing the CCP concern.