Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Fox Nation’s Piers Morgan he believes Taiwan is a ‘critical interest’ to the U.S., and suggested China was a far greater threat than Russia to America’s ability to lead across the world.

DeSantis, who is mulling a run for the White House in 2024, made the comments during an exclusive interview with Morgan, which will air this week on Fox Nation’s ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored.’

‘And if China did invade Taiwan?’ Morgan asked DeSantis at one point of the interview focused on the global issue facing the U.S.

‘That would be aggression. Absolutely would be aggression,’ DeSantis said, prompting Morgan to ask whether that was something Americans should be involved in.

‘So I would say that Taiwan is a strong ally of the United States. I think that that’s a critical interest. I think it’s for us, but also for our key allies like Japan and South Korea,’ he responded. 

‘And I think overall, the number one issue that we face internationally is checking the growth and the rise of China. They’re much more powerful, I think, than Putin and Russia are, and they really represent the biggest threat that we’ve seen to our ability to lead since the Soviet Union,’ he said.

Concern has been growing over an increasingly powerful China, which has continued to expand its military and strengthen its ties with nations hostile to the U.S. and its allies. Lawmakers and military officials have also grown more concerned over the Chinese threat to Taiwan, with some arguing China has become more emboldened to invade the island nation it sees as part of its territory because of the aggressive action Russia has taken against Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a three-day visit to Russia on Wednesday, which saw the two nations sign an agreement to expand economic ties. Some have also expressed worry that China could be planning to supply Russia with weapons intended to be used in its war with Ukraine.

Russia has, however, experienced a harder time than many expected in its fight against the Ukrainian military. It was forced to withdraw its armies from around the capital city of Kyiv after failing to capture it during the initial invasion, and instead had to reinforce its soldiers on the southern and eastern fronts that include the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Following its failures on the battlefield, fewer Americans began to see the Russian military as a ‘critical threat’ to the U.S.

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