Sasha Baker voiced her intent to pursue a 355-ship Navy fleet and provided a statement of support for the sovereignty of Taiwan.

Today. U.S. Senator Roger Wicker  attended a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that featured testimony from Sasha Baker, President Biden’s nominee for Deputy Undersecretary for Policy at the Department of Defense.

Wicker secured key commitments from Baker, including her intent to pursue a 355-ship Navy fleet and a statement of support for the sovereignty of Taiwan.

Wicker cited Baker’s testimony that China was the pacing challenge for the U.S. Navy. He mentioned how the size of the Chinese navy had recently eclipsed the U.S. Navy as the world’s largest fleet.

“I am concerned about the emphasis that China has put on building its fleet. I think China has pursued a strategy of seeking to thwart U.S. advantages across the board and certainly Naval sea power is one area,” Baker said. “If I’m confirmed, I will support the plan of record. I just say in addition to everything else that we need to be focused not only on the number of ships, which I agree is critically important, but also the capabilities that those ships bring to bear.”

Wicker then stated that Taiwan consists of 23 million citizens and the 21st largest economy in the world. Baker agreed that the people of Taiwan had the right to self-determination and that preventing an invasion of Taiwan is in the national security interest of the United States.

Baker said, “Our commitment to supporting Taiwan’s self-defense is long-standing, it’s bi-partisan, and its something that I’m prepared to support moving forward.” 

Senator Wicker said on social media that he was happy to receive commitments from a top Pentagon nominee on the issues of the self-determination of Taiwan, a commitment to aiding Taiwan’s self-defense, and a strong US Navy.