A senior Republican senator who called on President Donald Trump to allow the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Taiwan believes he will be receptive to the proposal given the administration’s inclination to check China’s economic and military rise.

“After eight years of international weakness from President Obama, President Trump is finally restoring America’s place as the leader of the free world,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) told the Washington Free Beacon. “We’re no longer going to be afraid of doing what is right and standing up for our allies at the risk of offending our adversaries.”

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated since the island’s 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. China claims Taiwan is under its sovereignty and refuses to renounce the option of deploying force against the democratic state should it pursue independence.

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