US Senator Josh Hawley (Rep. Missouri) introduced a bill, June 11, to ensure that the US military is able to maintain the ability to defeat China even if it mounts a successful invasion of Taiwan, including an assessment of the use of nuclear forces.
The “Taiwan Defense Act” is aimed at denying a “fait accompli” victory by the People’s Republic of China. The fait accompli refers to the possibility of the PRC mounting an invasion of Taiwan using overwhelming military force, and establishing itself on the island before the US military has time to respond.
The bill refers to Department of Defense assessments, that found that the PRC government is developing plans and capabilities to mount a powerful and fast attack to achieve a fait accompli victory.
In such a case, the USA may be convinced that mounting a response would be prohibitively difficult or costly, the bill states.
“In January 2019, the Defense Intelligence Agency assessed that the ‘longstanding’ intent of the government of the People’s Republic of China to compel the unification of Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China, and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence, was the ‘primary driver for China’s military modernization’.” The Bill states.
“The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report released in June 2019, states that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is “preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the mainland by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on Taiwan’s behalf.”
The bill points out that Taiwan is “a beacon of democracy in Asia” and “a steadfast partner of the United States in the common pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
If China were to use military force to compel unification of Taiwan with the PRC, not only would the world lose one of the “great champions of freedom and democracy,” but the United States and its allies and partners would face severe difficulties in maintaining a balance of power in the Indo-Pacific.
The PRC would be in a position to “impose its will throughout the Indo-Pacific region.” If the PRC were to block US access to key trade routes and markets in the region, it would bring “severe economic hardship on the middle-class and working class people of the United States and undermine the American way of life.”
The Bill also calls for “an assessment of the role of the nuclear forces of the United States in deterring or defeating a fait accompli by the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan,” and “ensuring the United States Armed Forces are able to continue combined joint operations to defend Taiwan in a nuclear environment following nuclear weapons use by the People’s Republic of China or the United States.”
Read The Taiwan Defense Act.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu said that the bill contains two very important points, according to a report by SETN. First, the bill is used in conjunction with the “Taiwan Relations Act” (1979). Wang said. (The bill says that under the TRA, it is the policy of the United States to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means to be of grave concern to the United States.)
The other important point is that this draft directly requires the US government to review and include Taiwan under the US “nuclear protection umbrella,” Wang said.
“This is a very powerful threatening force, which is equivalent to the protection of US territory,” Wang pointed out.
” The inclusion of a “nuclear protective umbrella” is tantamount to saying that this area is of national interest to the United States.”
“Wang Ting-yu expressed his gratitude for the support of the US Congress. “The draft is only a proposal, and there is still some way to go. The inclusion of Taiwan in the scope of the nuclear protection umbrella is a new issue,” Wang said.
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