Sen. Bernie Sanders told a commentator on "60 Minutes" that as president, he would be prepared to take military action if China attacked Taiwan.

On the show, when Anderson Cooper asked Sanders whether there are situations he believed would warrant military action by the U.S., his response was, "Absolutely.”

A nodding Sanders responded to Cooper's follow-up question saying, "That's something, yeah. I mean, I think we have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow invasions to take place, absolutely.” The question was specific about if China taking military action against Taiwan justified a military response from the U.S.

The 78-year-old Brooklyn-born politician and self-proclaimed socialist is now the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential race to prevent a second term of current President Donald Trump. His base, at one time criticized for being too “male and white”, has become much more diverse for the current campaign with one exception: that they are predominately young.

Sanders was about 8 years old in 1949 when the Chinese Civil war ended. The losers, members of the Republic of China (ROC), led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan, about 110 miles across the strait from the mainland. Taiwan grew into a global economic player with close ties to the U.S. while China, under Communist rule, gradually assumed its current role as the 2nd most powerful country in the world.

China continues to claim sovereignty over the island and has made it clear that it is willing to use force to achieve a total re-unification presumably under Chinese Communist rule. Chinese leader Xi Jinping described unification as “inevitable.”

In recent weeks China conducted “island encirclement” drills in Taiwanese waters and the U.S. responded by flying a pair of B-52 bombers to the area. Most Taiwanese citizens are opposed to reunification.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Sanders raised some eyebrows with comments supportive of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. This has alarmed Cuban nationals in South Florida who experienced firsthand what life was like under the late Communist dictator. As to North Korea’s Supreme leader, Sanders said, "I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend."

Sanders also commented on Russia’s leader as well, “I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine," he said.

If Sanders does capture the nomination, the presidential debates should prove interesting to see if he can steal some of Trump’s more moderate voters to join his far-left liberal agenda and his young supporters opposed to any military strike no matter how justified.