A group of US senators introduced a bill seeking to bolster Taiwan’s ability to defend itself against Chinese aggression by authorizing funding to the tune of US$2 billion per year in Foreign Military Financing, according to a United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations press release, Thursday, November 4.
The bill also amends the Arms Export Control Act to better facilitate arms transfers to Taiwan.
The proposed legislation, the Taiwan Deterrence Act, was put forward by Republican senators Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Bill Hagerty, Mitt Romney, John Cornyn, and Marco Rubio.
“The defense of Taiwan is critical to the future peace and security of the entire Indo-Pacific region,” said Risch. “This legislation authorizes $2 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing for Taiwan, but it is not a blank check. This funding is contingent on Taiwan’s commitment to further advance initiatives championed by President Tsai to build a credible defense. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, the executive branch, and Taiwan on our shared vital interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
“China’s increasing efforts to militarily overwhelm Taiwan is a threat to international diplomacy and regional security,” said Crapo. “It is imperative to get asymmetric capabilities, training and readiness resources to Taiwan quickly so it can protect itself from China’s encroaching aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“As former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I prioritized strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance to advance the vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. A free and democratic Taiwan is critical to realizing that vision, and the United States should work with our allies and partners to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s malign behavior and aggressive threats against Taiwan. This legislation is imperative to maintaining the United States’ posture toward Communist China by supporting our allies in the region and helping them build up and maintain their defenses,” said Hagerty.
“Taiwan is an important friend of the United States, and it plays a significant role in promoting democracy and countering China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific,” said Romney. “This legislation would ensure that the United States continues to support Taiwan in its effort to counter Chinese aggression and coercion by bolstering our support of Taiwan’s defense capabilities.”
“We all bear witness as China continues to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region, and as Americans we must honor our commitments to defend our allies and diplomatic partners like Taiwan,” said Cornyn. “This legislation will make sure the U.S. is ready and able to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event China further encroaches on their autonomy.”
“As Beijing continues to pose a direct threat to our interests in the Indo-Pacific, it’s important Taiwan has the necessary tools to defend itself,” said Rubio. “I’m proud to join Senator Risch and colleagues in introducing this bill, which takes the long overdue step to bolster Taiwan’s defense by providing much-needed assistance with military financing.”
Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou said that the proposal demonstrates the consistent and cross-party support of the United States for strengthening Taiwan-US security cooperation and will pragmatically and firmly deepen such cooperation.
The Taiwan Deterrence Act requires that under the long-term plan agreed by Taiwan and the United States, from the 2023 to 2032 fiscal year, the US State Department will provide Taiwan with an annual Foreign Military Financing of US$2 billion. It also requested amendments to the Arms Export Control Act (Arms Export Control Act) to make it easier to transfer weapons to Taiwan.
Ou said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is grateful to the Republicans and Democrats of the US Congress for their long-term attention to peace and security in the Taiwan Strait, demonstrating the US’s unanimous and cross-party support for strengthening Taiwan-US security cooperation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to monitor the follow-up progress of the Taiwan Deterrence Act, and maintain close contact with friends in the US Congress and the executive branch to pragmatically and steadily deepen Taiwan-US security cooperation.
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